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. Days into the journey, what makes Ishmael uneasy?

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

3. What is Ishmael's new hotel called?

4. Which character in the story refuses to follow orders?

5. What is the name of the ship's second mate?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the madness of Ahab that loses his humanity.

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

3. How is Ahab killed?

4. How complicated is the process of harvesting the whale blubber?

5. Relate the sad story of Pip.

6. Summarize the novel.

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

8. What is occupying the mind of the captain of the Rachel?

9. Describe the first encounter with Moby Dick.

10. What is the evidence that there is still a vestige of humanity left in Ahab?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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

1) Character

2) Setting

3) Plot

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Melville gives some of his main characters Biblical names, including Ishmael. Pick one of the following Biblical and examine what meaning the name gives to their character and the story in general.

1) Ishmael

2) Elijah

3) Ahab

(see the answer keys)

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