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 had Jimmy Rose never married?

2. How does the narrator in "The Lightning Rod Man" feel about the storm before the salesman arrives?

3. What overcomes Captain Delano's criticism of Benito Cereno?

4. What caused the loss of Jimmy Rose's fortune?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Why do the peacocks on the wallpaper in the parlor seem to the narrator to represent Jimmy Rose?

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

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

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

10. What is unusual about the bug that emerges from the apple-tree table in the story of that name?

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'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 3

Melville uses brief sketches to address large issues of social justice. Select two of the stories that work together, such as "The Paradise of Bachelors" and "The Tartarus of Maids," or "The Two Temples," to analyze the social issues addressed in those comparisons.

(see the answer keys)

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