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. To what does Ishmael attribute the hieroglyphic-like markings on the whale skin?

2. What is the name of the inn where Ishmael stays while waiting to go to Nantucket?

3. Where is Captain Ahab as the crew begins coming aboard the Pequod?

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

5. How does Stubb handle the strange situation?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Ahab express his mission on this trip of the Pequod?

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

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

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

6. Detail the problems of holding a whale overnight tied to the side of the ship.

7. What is the amusing account of Queequeg and the wheelbarrow?

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

9. Why does Ishmael soon lose his astonishment over Queequeg in New Bedford?

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

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 why Ishmael's idea that the whale could never become extinct was just the thing that has almost made the whale disappear. Explain how man's use of natural resources has done a great deal of damage to species and to the planet.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on life in a coastal town. Use the differences Ishmael notices between how people live in New Bedford and Nantucket from the way people live inland. Give your opinion as to what it is about coastal people that make them different from other communities. If you have personal experience with a coastal town, work those into your essay.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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