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 impresses the narrator about the mill?

2. What did Jimmy Rose have to offer the rich after he lost his fortune?

3. How was John Marr wounded?

4. What emblem does John Gentian refuse to wear?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. According to the deposition in "Benito Cereno," what would have happened to Captain Delano if he had suspected a mutiny aboard the San Dominick?

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. What does the landscape painter, B. Hobbema Brown, believe about the Marquis de Grandvin?

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

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 often uses a distinctive double negative in description. For example, Captain Delano is described as "undistrustful." Later, he is said to be "not unbewildered," and "not uninfluenced." What is to be gained by using these terms instead of "trusting," "bewildered," and "influenced"? Is there a difference between being undistrustful and trusting? If so, what is it? Find other examples of this peculiarity and analyze its use.

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 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.

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