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 do the maids work to produce?

2. What does the narrator's wife think of his apprehension about the apple-tree table?

3. What indicates to Captain Delano that the strange ship may be in trouble?

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

5. Whose cause does the Marquis de Grandvin champion?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Why doesn't the narrator in "The Piazza" grant Marianna's wish and tell her that he is the resident of the house that she believes contains happiness?

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

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

9. What does the narrator of "The Fiddler" first admire about Hautboy?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Melville frequently reveals the character of a narrator through the narrator's observations and reactions to another character. "Bartleby the Scrivener" and "Benito Cereno" are examples of this technique. Select one of the stories in which the narrator reveals himself. Discuss how the character is revealed and the effectiveness of this technique for you as a reader.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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