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. In "The Piazza," how does the narrator's house look to the inhabitants of the mountain cottage?

2. What does the narrator in "The Fiddler" aspire to become?

3. How does Captain Delano evaluate Babo when he first meets him?

4. Why does the narrator of "The Piazza" feel that the house must have a piazza?

5. How does the narrator of "The Apple-Tree Table" feel as his wife and daughters become more frightened?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What haunts the narrator at the conclusion of "The Piazza"?

8. What is the figurehead on the San Dominick?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Melville frequently reveals the character of a narrator through the narrator's observations and reactions to another character. "Bartleby the Scrivener" and "Benito Cereno" are examples of this technique. Select one of the stories in which the narrator reveals himself. Discuss how the character is revealed and the effectiveness of this technique for you as a reader.

Essay Topic 2

When Billy Budd is impressed into the royal navy, the captain of the ship he is leaving says that a former enemy, called Red Whiskers, " . . . now really loves Billy--loves him or is the biggest hypocrite that ever I heard of." Is this an instance of skillful foreshadowing? In your essay, analyze why the captain's lament is or is not an example of Melville's foreshadowing the main conflict in Billy Budd.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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