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 apology does Ishmael make about whalers?

2. Who is the second mate on board the Pequod?

3. Who is the High Chief or king of the island of Kokovoko?

4. What is Ishmael's religious affiliation?

5. How does Queequeg manage to sign on with the Pequod after first being turned down?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What potential serious problem does Ahab ignore in order to talk to the captain of another whaling ship?

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

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

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

7. How does the first day of whaling affect Ishmael?

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

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

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

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 people who take dangerous occupations. In Melville's day, perhaps whaling the most dangerous occupation in the world. Compare that to some dangerous occupations today. Conclude with whether you would ever undertake a really dangerous job.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the possible homoerotic overtones in the relationship between Queequeg and Ishmael. Express your opinion as to how you view this relationship. Take into consideration the culture from which Queequeg comes. Do a quick survey of Melville's life to justify your conclusion.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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