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

2. What early shipboard duty does Ishmael describe?

3. What accommodation is available for Ishmael at the inn in New Bedford?

4. What is the speculation about the noise coming from the after hold?

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

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. How does the first day of whaling affect Ishmael?

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

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

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

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

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

9. What does Ahab do to disturb the crew during the night?

10. Detail the problems of holding a whale overnight tied to the side of the 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 Ishmael as the narrator of MOBY DICK. Explain what makes Ishmael a good choice as narrator in terms of his education and background. Why does Ishmael relate better to the general reader than Starbuck or Flask might have? Why is it necessary to the story that Ishmael survive the destruction of the Pequod?

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

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the beauty of whales in their natural habitat. Include such things as how they jump out of the water, the impressive look of their spouts, the way they utilize their tails, how graceful they are for such large creatures, and modern recordings of whale songs.

(see the answer keys)

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