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. Why does John Gentian take "liberties with etiquette"?

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

3. What does Benito Cereno say has happened to his partner, Alexandro Aranda?

4. Why is Captain Delano glad he was not astute enough to recognize the mutiny?

5. What sentence was chalked below the figurehead?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

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

5. What does the narrator claim shows Jack Gentian's natural gentility?

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

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

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

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

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 has a gift for inventing language: "The picturesque yields to the pocketesque." The government of the island was a "riotocracy." Find and analyze examples of invented language. Are the new words useful? Comprehensible? Effective? Discuss their effect on 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.

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