Moby Dick, By Herman Melville

10 Questions | Total Attempts: 1009

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Moby Dick,  By Herman Melville - Quiz

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale chronicles the strange journey of an ordinary seaman named Ishmael who signs on for a whaling voyage in 1840s Massachusetts. Take this quiz to see if you can remember the basic plot of Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    The first three words of this book are perhaps the most famous in literature.  What are they?
    • A. 

      Call me Ishmael

    • B. 

      I was born

    • C. 

      In the beginning

  • 2. 
    Where is the story set?
    • A. 

      Maine

    • B. 

      Massachusetts

    • C. 

      Hawaii

  • 3. 
    Ishmael  travels to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he stays in a whalers’ inn. Since the inn is rather full, he has to share a bed with a harpooner from the South Pacific.  What is the name of the whaler?
    • A. 

      Ahab

    • B. 

      Tipegu

    • C. 

      Queequeg

  • 4. 
    The two decide to seek work on a whaling vessel together. They take a ferry to Nantucket, the traditional capital of the whaling industry. There they secure berths on what ship?
    • A. 

      Pequod

    • B. 

      Fairfield

    • C. 

      Pasquit

  • 5. 
    Peleg and Bildad, the Pequod’s Quaker owners, drive a hard bargain in terms of salary. They also mention the ship’s mysterious captain.  What is his name?
    • A. 

      Ahab

    • B. 

      Ishmael

    • C. 

      Pequod

  • 6. 
    Ahab makes his first appearance on deck, balancing gingerly on his false leg, which is made from a sperm whale’s jaw. He announces his desire to pursue and kill the whale who took his leg.  What is the name of the whale?
    • A. 

      Mutara

    • B. 

      Pequit

    • C. 

      Moby Dick

  • 7. 
    From time to time, the ship encounters other whaling vessels. Ahab always demands information about Moby Dick from their captains. One of the ships, the Jeroboam, carries Gabriel, a crazed prophet.  What does he predict?
    • A. 

      Doom for anyone who threatens Moby Dick

    • B. 

      That Ahab will get the whale

    • C. 

      That they will never see the whale

  • 8. 
    Soon after, the Pequod meets the Samuel Enderby, a whaling ship whose skipper, Captain Boomer, has lost an arm in an encounter with Moby Dick. The two captains discuss the whale;  what is Captain Boomer's feelings towards the whale?
    • A. 

      The same as Captain Ahabs.

    • B. 

      He is just happy to have escaped and can't understand Captain Ahab's quest for revenge.

    • C. 

      He has no feelings towards Moby Dick.

  • 9. 
    The Pequod approaches the equator, where Ahab expects to find the great whale. The ship encounters two more whaling ships, the Rachel and the Delight, both of which have recently had fatal encounters with the whale.  What happens next?
    • A. 

      Captain Ahab spots the whale.

    • B. 

      Captain Ahab finally sees reason and turns back.

    • C. 

      The crew, fearing for their safety, kill Ahab.

  • 10. 
    How does the story end?
    • A. 

      Ahab is then caught in a harpoon line and hurled out of his harpoon boat to his death. The boat sinks, and only Ishmael survives.

    • B. 

      Captain Ahab kills Moby Dick, but in doing so, sinks the boat and they all drown.

    • C. 

      They kill Moby Dick and return to their homes.

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