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. Why does Ishmael think Chapter 45 is the most important one in the book?

2. Days into the journey, what makes Ishmael uneasy?

3. How does Stubb handle the strange situation?

4. What happens to Radney during a whale chase?

5. What habit of whales do the whaling ships use to find their prey?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the function of Charity, Bildad's sister, in the preparations for the Pequod's journey?

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

4. Explain the mistaken identity that causes Ahab to order lowering of the boats.

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

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

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

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

9. Describe how Ishmael becomes uneasy about Captain Ahab.

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

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 understanding other cultures. Begin with Ishmael's initial fear of Queequeg. Note how Queequeg did not seem so strange after Ishmael sees many other ethnic people on the streets of New Bedford. Discuss how Queequeg begins to see Ishmael as his brother. Finish with how religious prejudice like Bildad's tends to resist inter-cultural understanding.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the possible homoerotic overtones in the relationship between Queequeg and Ishmael. Express your opinion as to how you view this relationship. Take into consideration the culture from which Queequeg comes. Do a quick survey of Melville's life to justify your conclusion.

(see the answer keys)

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