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 startles the crew as they prepare to go after a whale?

2. What habit of whales do the whaling ships use to find their prey?

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

4. At the Try Pots Inn in Nantucket, what is the staple menu?

5. How does Ishmael recognize newcomers to whaling on the streets of New Bedford?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Ishmael inform the reader about the process of whale hunting?

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

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

5. What is the surprise the men of the Pequod get when they spot their first whale and begin to lower the boats?

6. Under what circumstances do Peleg and Bildad leave the Pequod?

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

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

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

10. What is the function of Charity, Bildad's sister, in the preparations for the Pequod's journey?

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 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 why we know so much more about whales now than Melville knew. Discuss the modern technology that allows whales to be observed in their natural underwater habitat. Mention modern photography that shows the whale as it is and not as an artist imagines it.

(see the answer keys)

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