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. To what does Ishmael attribute the hieroglyphic-like markings on the whale skin?

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

3. What does Charity bring for the crew of the ship?

4. Why does Elijah challenge Ishmael to find the men he saw heading for the Pequod?

5. What do Queequeg and Ishmael do before they sleep?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Ahab react to the news that the captain lost his son in Chapter 128?

5. Why does Ahab change his attitude toward the leaking casks of whale oil?

6. What is happening to Queequeg's coffin?

7. Describe Fedallah's dream in this section.

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

9. What do Queequeg and Ismael exchange with each other when they become friends?

10. Why does the encounter with the Bachelor irritate Ahab?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

What is the role of the first, second and third mates? Are there any weaknesses in the ship's crew? How will the Christians deal with people they regard as savages?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on Melville as a novelist. Mention the parts of Moby Dick that you found the most interesting. Discuss also some of the drier parts of the novel that tend to interrupt the flow of the story. Give your opinion about his use of language to paint a picture of life on a whaling ship.

Essay Topic 3

Examine the novel's dialogue. How does Melville's dialogue contribute to the following areas:

1) Character

2) Setting

3) Plot

(see the answer keys)

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