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. Where does Cambronne say the Daring will now sail?

2. What does Hornblower connive to do?

3. Why is Hornblower in New Orleans?

4. How does Hornblower's flagship reach New Orleans?

5. Of what is Hornblower suspicious?

Short Essay Questions

1. If Cambronne is undertaking the mission which Hornblower believes he is doing, why is Hornblower concerned and what does Hornblower determine to do?

2. What is the cargo of the Daring according to the men of the Crab?

3. How does Hornblower encounter the Estrella del Sur's captain and what does Hornblower do?

4. Where has Cambronne actually gone and what prevents Hornblower from following him immediately?

5. After a period of introspection, what does Hornblower conclude Cambronne's plans are?

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

7. Describe Fell's decision regarding the Estrella del Sur and the result of the decision.

8. What vessel has Hornblower made his flagship in this chapter and what is the vessel doing?

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

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

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

Hornblower and Spendlove are kidnapped by a ragtag group of former pirates in Chapter 3. Discuss the following:

1. What does it say about this band of men and women who seem to believe that what Hornblower reads aloud as far as what he has written is true? Do you think that those who cannot read might think those who can are more honorable or would not write something down different from what they say is written down? Do you think this band feel some inherent trust towards Hornblower?

2. Why do you think Ned is serving as the leader? If he is the leader, what sort of people must his followers be? Is it leadership by acclaim or default? Which type of leadership would be more effective?

3. How do you think the pirates feel when suddenly they no longer have the upper hand and are being bombarded by light mortar? Do you think they feel Hornblower betrays them? Why or why not?

4. When the few surviving pirates are captured, they are eventually hanged. How would they be treated in the justice system of the United States today? Which system seems more fair--the one in which Hornblower operates or today in the United States?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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