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 name of the inn where Ishmael stays while waiting to go to Nantucket?

2. At the Try Pots Inn in Nantucket, what is the staple menu?

3. What is Ishmael's profession before signing on the whaling ship?

4. Why does the captain of a whale ship the Pequod meets at sea not want to board the Pequod?

5. What is Ishmael's religious affiliation?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe the appropriate text Father Maple uses in his sermon to the whalers in New Bedford.

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

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

6. What does Ahab do to disturb the crew during the night?

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

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

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

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

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 the literary use of personification. Begin with how Ahab assigns human characteristics to Moby Dick, believing that the whale is a mortal enemy, conscious of a vendetta against him. Then go to children's stories where animal characters think and talk like humans. Discuss personification as a device to explain relationships between humans and animals.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages comparing the character Bildad in MOBY DICK to the Bildad in the book of Job who God said darkened counsel without knowledge. Point out dialog of Bildad that shows his limited understanding of the real world.

(see the answer keys)

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