Great Short Works of Herman Melville Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Merrymusk convince the narrator that he is a rich man?

2. What emotion does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" say he has never felt since the rooster died?

3. What does a scrivener do?

4. How does the narrator describe life on the sea as compared to farming or working the Erie Canal?

5. Why doesn't the narrator dismiss Bartleby for insubordination?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Nippers's shortcoming as a scrivener?

2. Why does Melville believe that American poor suffer more than European poor?

3. Why did the first seven of Steelkilt's men come out of their imprisonment?

4. Why is the direct route for an ocean voyage not always the fastest or best, according to Melville in "The Encantadas"?

5. Why did the two remaining followers of Steelkilt each hope to be the first out of the hold?

6. How does the poet Blandmour feel about poverty in "Poor Man's Pudding"?

7. Why does the narrator say that pity turns into repulsion?

8. How does the creditor in "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo" torment the narrator?

9. What do the sailors in "The Encantadas" do with tortoises?

10. What superstition do sailors have about the tortoises in "The Encantadas"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Melville's use of time, switching back and forth between present and past tenses in the same story, is an unusual method to bring the reader a sense of immediacy. Select a story such as "The Two Temples" to analyze the effectiveness of this technique.

Essay Topic 2

An allegory is a story that is in itself a symbol or represents an idea. Select one of Melville's allegories, such as "The Piazza" or "The Bell Tower" to analyze in terms of its symbolic significance.

Essay Topic 3

Melville states that Moby Dick operates to do the work of God by killing Radney. A Deus ex Machina (god out of the machine), where an outside source ends the conflict between characters, is a literary device often disparaged. In your essay, consider its effectiveness in this instance and in other Melville short stories where this method is employed.

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