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 indicates to Captain Delano that the strange ship may be in trouble?

2. Why was Bannadonna excused for the homicide he committed?

3. What does John Gentian say are caused by stirring deeds?

4. On what holiday does John Gentian converse with passers-by?

5. What surprises Captain Delano when he first sees Benito Cereno's ship?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. 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?

8. What is unusual about the bug that emerges from the apple-tree table in the story of that name?

9. What seems odd about Benito Cereno's ship when Captain Delano first sees it?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Melville's work is full of allusions to mythic characters and settings with which he expects his reader to be familiar. Select a story such as "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo" or "The Two Temples" to find the references to mythology. Look up the characters or locations and explain in your essay how these references strengthen the story.

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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