Study Guide

Benito Cereno Tough-o-Meter

By Herman Melville

Tough-o-Meter

(5) Tree Line

The tricky parts of "Benito Cereno" are all about reading in between the lines. Sure, you could read straight through without questioning anything and get one heck of a surprise when Benito jumps ship (literally). We're scoring this at Tree Line because you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll read and reread some sentences to try to get at the truth… but overall, this is a clearly written and fast-paced story.

Oh yeah—remember to look out for the nautical language sprinkled throughout the book. Ever wondered what a balustrade was? The dictionary is your friend here, and will stay your bestie through all of the weird "yo ho ho and a bottle of rum"-style language.

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