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 Ahab insist that the captain of the Jeroboam come aboard the Pequod?

2. What purpose does the mad Elijah serve in the story?

3. What is Ishmael's objection to artist renditions of the whale?

4. What characteristics does Ishmael assign to Starbuck, the chief mate?

5. Who is Charity and what is her function regarding the Pequod?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Explain why Ishmael decides to book himself on a 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 hard life of whalers. Mention the three year expeditions required to fill the ship with valuable whale oil. Discuss the weather conditions that make the trip more dangerous. Detail the need to go out in small boats to get near enough to the whales to harpoon them.

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 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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