Great Short Works of Herman Melville Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What do the maids work to produce?

2. What emblem does John Gentian wear on his left lapel?

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

4. What sort of feet did the apple-tree table have?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Melville is very fond of alliteration, such as " . . . mending rotten rail fences with their own rotten rails . . ." which is an incidence of "incipient idiocy." Find instances of this use of language and evaluate its effectiveness for you as a reader.

Essay Topic 2

Melville often leaves critical parts of a story unsaid. In "The Town-Ho's Story," for instance, the reader never knows what threat Steelkilt mutters to the captain that causes him to decide not to flog Steelkilt. Likewise, in Hunilla's story in "The Encantadas," he says that " . . . the unnamed events which befell Hunilla on this isle, let them abide between her and her God. In nature, as in law, it may be libelous to speak some truths." Analyze the effectiveness of withholding key information from the reader in this way.

Essay Topic 3

One recurring theme in Melville's stories is the fate of an innocent man in the grip of malice he does not comprehend. Compare two such protagonists, such as Steelkilt and Billy Budd.

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