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. Whose cause does the Marquis de Grandvin champion?

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

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

4. How does Captain Delano view the attitude of the black people on board?

5. How does the narrator of "The Piazza" travel to the spot in the mountains that he wants to see?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the figurehead on the San Dominick?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Melville states that Moby Dick operates to do the work of God by killing Radney. A Deus ex Machina (god out of the machine), where an outside source ends the conflict between characters, is a literary device often disparaged. In your essay, consider its effectiveness in this instance and in other Melville short stories where this method is employed.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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