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

2. After the first whaling experience, what does Ishmael decide to do?

3. What is the harpooner, Queequeg, out doing when Ishmael is shown to his room?

4. What is peculiar about the deck where Ahab walks?

5. How does Ishmael ultimately describe the whale?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Explain why Ishmael decides to book himself on a whaling ship.

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

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

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 Fearing the Unknown. Using the example of Ishmael's initial reaction to Queequeg, demonstrate in your essay how people tend to fear what is new or unexplained. Note how as Ishmael begins to learn Queequeg's ways, he becomes less fearful and soon they bond as friends. End your essay with a statement about how eliminating prejudicial fear would make the world a better place.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on respect. Use the example of Starbuck who disagrees with Ahab's vendetta against a whale but always follows orders, even when he thinks they are wrong. Define why respect for the captain and the crew is necessary to maintain order on a ship.

(see the answer keys)

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