Moby-Dick Test | Mid-Book 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 is the rumor about other fish when they encounter the white whale?

2. Why does Ishmael advise against putting intellectual men on watch?

3. Who is the chaplain of the whaler's place of worship?

4. What does Ishmael say whale ship crew members often do with the bones of whales?

5. What part of the whale is the most valuable to the whalers?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Ahab want from the first whaling ship they meet in the ocean?

2. Explain why Ishmael decides to book himself on a whaling ship.

3. Why is the story of Radney and Steelkilt important to the story?

4. How does the first day of whaling affect Ishmael?

5. What does Ishmael think about paintings and drawings of whales?

6. What behavior of whales works to the advantage of whaling ships looking for them?

7. What is the surprise the men of the Pequod get when they spot their first whale and begin to lower the boats?

8. How does Queequeg determine which of them will select the whaling ship they take for their whaling adventure?

9. How do Starbuck and Stubb react to Ahab's stated mission?

10. Explain the importance of Chapters 45 and 46 in understanding the enemy Captain Ahab is up against.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the hard life of whalers. Mention the three year expeditions required to fill the ship with valuable whale oil. Discuss the weather conditions that make the trip more dangerous. Detail the need to go out in small boats to get near enough to the whales to harpoon them.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on a character from MOBY DICK you would like to meet. Give specific examples of the behavior of that character and explain why he or she would be someone you would like to know.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on religion in Melville's novel, MOBY DICK. Begin with the sermon in the Whaleman's Chapel. Mention Queequeg's devotion to his Yojo. Go to the argument Ishmael has with the man from Sar Harbor. Conclude with the religious parallels to the names Melville chose for his characters.

(see the answer keys)

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