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. What has Hautboy accomplished in "The Fiddler?"

2. Why does the narrator of "Jimmy Rose" refuse to change the wallpaper in his parlor?

3. Why had Jimmy Rose never married?

4. How does Melville describe Captain Delano's personality?

5. How does Captain Delano evaluate Benito Cereno's condition when he first meets him?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the figurehead on the San Dominick?

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

3. What does the bug in the apple-tree table teach the narrator's daughter, Julia?

4. Why is the narrator despondent at the beginning of "The Fiddler"?

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

6. Why did the Spanish naval board of inquiry at first reject parts of Benito Cereno's deposition?

7. What is Captain Delano's intention in boarding Benito Cereno's ship?

8. What does Jimmy Rose retain after he has lost his fortune?

9. What foibles does the narrator claim Jack Gentian possesses?

10. In "The Lightning Rod Man," why does the narrator pretend to mistake the salesman for the god Jupiter Tonans?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Setting is particularly important in Melville's stories. Select a story in which the setting is critical, such as the confinement of shipboard or the home as a center for domestic disputes. Analyze the use and power of the setting in the story you chose.

Essay Topic 2

Melville was capable of a wide range of diction, or word choice, ranging from the staccato exclamations of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo" to the alliterations of "The Encantadas," (an archipelago of aridities), to biblical allusions ("A virtue went out of him . . ." "I became a pillar of salt . . ."). Select one form of diction that impressed you about these stories, show examples of its use, and analyze its effectiveness.

Essay Topic 3

Melville has a gift for inventing language: "The picturesque yields to the pocketesque." The government of the island was a "riotocracy." Find and analyze examples of invented language. Are the new words useful? Comprehensible? Effective? Discuss their effect on you as a reader.

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