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

2. What was the disadvantage of building the piazza on the north side of the house?

3. How do the bachelors in the Temple keep time?

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

5. How did Captain Delano evaluate the relationship between Benito Cereno and Babo?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the figurehead on the San Dominick?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Melville, as a product of his time and place, has opinions that are strongly racist, in the sense of making generalizations about groups of people. For example, "Spaniards are all an odd set; the very word Spaniard has a curious, conspirator, Guy-Fawkish twang to it." or "The 'Gee has a great appetite, but little imagination; a large eyeball, but small insight." or "When a mulatto has a regular European face, look out for him; he is a devil." In your essay, analyze these opinions and others like them.

Essay Topic 3

Several of the stories in this collection deal with relationships between men and women. Using at least two stories as a basis, evaluate Melville's understanding of the status of women in his society and culture. Did he agree with, condemn, or remain neutral about the rights of women?

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