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 harpooner, Queequeg, out doing when Ishmael is shown to his room?

2. How does Ishmael introduce the story of Moby Dick?

3. After the whale is captured, what is the next step?

4. What does Ishmael think is more remarkable than the whale's size and color?

5. How does Ishmael foreshadow Starbuck's behavior throughout the novel?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Explain the function of the "monkey" on board a whaling ship.

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

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

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

10. What potential serious problem does Ahab ignore in order to talk to the captain of another whaling ship?

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 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.

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 on dealing with hardships. Using examples from MOBY DICK, your essay should point out how human beings have the ability to deal with difficult situations. Discuss ways people deal with hardships today.

(see the answer keys)

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