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

2. What do Peleg and Bildad do once the Pequod is in the Atlantic Ocean?

3. What is Queequeg's duty while the blubber is stripped from the back of the whale?

4. How does Queequeg distinguish himself on the trip to Nantucket?

5. What is Queequeg's amusing story about the ship captain attending a wedding in his father's court?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the mystery of the sea. Begin with the mysterious things about the sea that Melville presents in the novel. Move into the present where there are still many things we do not know about the sea. Explain why the sea is so difficult to understand including its size, its atmospheric pressure, and its eco-systems.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on life in a coastal town. Use the differences Ishmael notices between how people live in New Bedford and Nantucket from the way people live inland. Give your opinion as to what it is about coastal people that make them different from other communities. If you have personal experience with a coastal town, work those into your essay.

(see the answer keys)

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