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 does the narrator in "The Paradise of Bachelors" say has become of the Knights Templar?

2. What does the narrator in "The Fiddler" do with his manuscripts?

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

4. What caused the loss of Jimmy Rose's fortune?

5. What rumor pursues Daniel Orme into his life on shore?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the narrator of "The Fiddler" first admire about Hautboy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. What does the narrator claim shows Jack Gentian's natural gentility?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A recurring theme in Melville's stories is the difference between appearance and reality. Choose a character such as Claggart, who appears to have only sterling qualities but is evil in his heart or a setting such as the mountain home in "The Piazza," which seems at first to be like a fairyland, to analyze the point Melville is making.

Essay Topic 2

Melville's elegaic pieces about the Marquis de Grandvin and others make clear the qualities he most admires. In your essay, use examples from these writings to show what qualities Melville thinks make for human greatness.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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