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. After the first whaling experience, what does Ishmael decide to do?

2. What story about a whale attack compares to the history of the Titanic?

3. How does Stubb handle the strange situation?

4. What early shipboard duty does Ishmael describe?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the behavior of the mates dining in the captain's cabin as they torment the cook who serves their meal.

2. Describe how Ishmael becomes uneasy about Captain Ahab.

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

4. Describe the curious rumor about other fish and Moby Dick.

5. How complicated is the process of harvesting the whale blubber?

6. At what point does Ishmael go into a discussion about whales in general.

7. How does Ishmael happen to share a bed with a tattooed headhunter?

8. What ominous encounter do Ishmael and Queequeg have after they have signed onto the Pequod?

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

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

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 mystery of the sea. Begin with the mysterious things about the sea that Melville presents in the novel. Move into the present where there are still many things we do not know about the sea. Explain why the sea is so difficult to understand including its size, its atmospheric pressure, and its eco-systems.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on people who take dangerous occupations. In Melville's day, perhaps whaling the most dangerous occupation in the world. Compare that to some dangerous occupations today. Conclude with whether you would ever undertake a really dangerous job.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on Fearing the Unknown. Using the example of Ishmael's initial reaction to Queequeg, demonstrate in your essay how people tend to fear what is new or unexplained. Note how as Ishmael begins to learn Queequeg's ways, he becomes less fearful and soon they bond as friends. End your essay with a statement about how eliminating prejudicial fear would make the world a better place.

(see the answer keys)

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