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 conversation like at breakfast in the Spouter Inn?

2. Who is the chaplain of the whaler's place of worship?

3. What is Starbuck's disagreement with Ahab's purpose for the trip?

4. Why does the rumor start that Moby Dick is stalking the Pequod?

5. What type of whale are the men of the Pequod looking for?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Ishmael happen to share a bed with a tattooed headhunter?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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