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 Queequeg's small, carved idol?

2. What happens to the two men who turn on Steelkilt and come out of the locked scuttle?

3. How does Stubb handle the strange situation?

4. What unusual thing does Queequeg do while putting on his boots?

5. What does Ahab question the men about?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Explain the startling thing that Ishmael learns about his friend, Queequeg.

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

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

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

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

7. What does Ishmael think about paintings and drawings of whales?

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

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

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

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 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 2

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 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on how literature helps understand ages past. Use the sights, sounds, and customs of 19th century America as written about in the novel to describe what life was like then. Note in your essay the things like whale oil for lighting that are no longer necessary. Write your opinion about such things as room sharing at an inn and the communal meals in the dining room. Explain why you would or would not like to have lived during those times.

(see the answer keys)

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