Great Short Works of Herman Melville Test | Final 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. On what holiday does John Gentian converse with passers-by?

2. What has Hautboy accomplished in "The Fiddler?"

3. What do the maids work to produce?

4. What first attracts the narrator of "The Piazza" to a building far in the mountains?

5. What overcomes Captain Delano's criticism of Benito Cereno?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the chimney in "I and My Chimney" provide for the narrator on the second landing?

2. Why doesn't the narrator in "The Piazza" grant Marianna's wish and tell her that he is the resident of the house that she believes contains happiness?

3. Why do the peacocks on the wallpaper in the parlor seem to the narrator to represent Jimmy Rose?

4. Why does the narrator of "I and My Chimney" believe his chimney is good for invalids?

5. What does Melville say is the difference between boarding a strange ship and entering a strange house?

6. How have the Knights Templar changed, according to Melville's observations, in "The Paradise of Bachelors"?

7. According to the deposition in "Benito Cereno," what would have happened to Captain Delano if he had suspected a mutiny aboard the San Dominick?

8. Why does the owner of the paper factory in "The Tartarus of Maids" tell the narrator that all of his workers are called "girls"?

9. What does the narrator of "The Piazza" think when he first sees a single bright spot in the northwestern hills?

10. Why does the narrator of "The Lightning Rod Man" compare the salesman to a worm?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Melville often leaves critical parts of a story unsaid. In "The Town-Ho's Story," for instance, the reader never knows what threat Steelkilt mutters to the captain that causes him to decide not to flog Steelkilt. Likewise, in Hunilla's story in "The Encantadas," he says that " . . . the unnamed events which befell Hunilla on this isle, let them abide between her and her God. In nature, as in law, it may be libelous to speak some truths." Analyze the effectiveness of withholding key information from the reader in this way.

Essay Topic 2

One recurring theme in Melville's stories is the fate of an innocent man in the grip of malice he does not comprehend. Compare two such protagonists, such as Steelkilt and Billy Budd.

Essay Topic 3

Melville uses brief sketches to address large issues of social justice. Select two of the stories that work together, such as "The Paradise of Bachelors" and "The Tartarus of Maids," or "The Two Temples," to analyze the social issues addressed in those comparisons.

(see the answer keys)

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