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 first alarms the narrator about the apple-tree table?

2. What god does the narrator in "The Lightning Rod Man" think the salesman resembles?

3. How does the lightning rod salesman feel about thunderstorms?

4. Who finally persuaded the narrator of "I and My Chimney" to knock a few feet off the chimney?

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What is the figurehead on the San Dominick?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Melville employs a wide variety of stylistic techniques in his writing, including a poetic use of repetition. In "I and My Chimney," for example, he writes of " . . . a mysterious door, entering to a mysterious closet; and here I keep mysterious cordials of a choice, mysterious flavor." In your essay, analyze this and other examples of artful repetition you find in these stories.

Essay Topic 2

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 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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