Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies 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. How does Cambronne express his anguish?

2. What is a drogue?

3. How do Cambronne's men receive Hornblower's news?

4. Who does Hornblower congratulate on the speed of his ship?

5. What does Hornblower intend to do?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who commands the Clorinda and what is his financial situation?

2. What would enable Fell to profit by the capture of the Estrella del Sur and by how much would he profit?

3. How does Hornblower discreetly inform Fell of a possible plan to capture the Estrella del Sur and what is Fell's reaction?

4. What is the Daring?

5. Describe the capture of the Estrella del Sur by the Clorinda.

6. Who does Rear Admiral Hornblower talk with and what are the main topics of discussion?

7. What is the ostensible reason Cambronne has hired the Daring, and does Hornblower believe the explanation?

8. What does Sharpe tell Hornblower about who has hired the Daring.

9. What is the political situation at San Juan and how does this prevent any further action against the Estrella del Sur?

10. How is Hornblower not up to his usual powers of observation and deduction?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss one of the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Cambronne and Ramsbottom. How are both idealists? Is there a flaw in each of theirs idealism? Is either man's cause more worthy than the other? Do you think Hornblower is more sympathetic towards the cause of one of the men compared to the other? Why? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Governor Hooper and Cloudesley Sharpe. Compare the physical description of the two and how the physical description gives some clue as to their personalities. Who seems more reliable? Who seems to take his responsibilities more seriously? With whom would you rather work? Be specific and give examples.

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples. (Consider Fell, Mr. Hough, Lucy Hough, Spendlove, Ned Johnson, Hudnutt, Lady Barbara Hornblower, and Governor Hooper as secondary characters for the purpose of this essay topic.)

Essay Topic 2

Honor is a very important concept in this book and in the life of those in the upper class during that era. After Hornblower gives his word to Cambronne about Napoleon's death, Hornblower is beset with guilt and the agony of knowing he has besmirched his honor. Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of honor in Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies. What do you think Admiral Hornblower would tell you is the definition of honor if you ask him? Do you think honor can be restored if it is lost? Does Hornblower lose his honor in the lie he tells to Cambronne? Should he?

2. Respond to the following statement using specific examples from the book and your own experience: Honor is one of the most important character traits for anyone in any social strata. First fully define the concept of honor, then discuss whether you believe the preceding statement is true with specific examples from Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies and other books/films, etc. that you have read or experienced.

3. During the era in which Hornblower lives, men could give their word on the basis of being a gentleman and it is assumed to be true. There was no such concept for a lady or anyone of lower social/economic groups. Fully discuss the implications in a society where only gentlemen are considered trustworthy enough to give their word unquestioned.

Essay Topic 3

Because this novel centers around life at sea, it is quite helpful to have a basic understanding of nautical terminology and the types of ships and their armaments that were used during the early 1800s. Discuss the following:

1. Define ten of the most commonly-used shipboard terms and discuss how those terms are used in Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies

2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the ships used in the early 1800s? (Think perhaps about such aspects as speed, pollution, how easily repairs are made, etc.).

3. How is the British navy organized during this period (early 1800s) and how different do you think it is organized today (including how one rises in rank). This may require some research.

4. Steam engines are just coming into use in this novel. How might they change the way naval battles are fought?

(see the answer keys)

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