Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies Test | Final 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. What surprises Hornblower about Ramsbottom?

2. What does Hornblower do on board the Helmond?

3. Where does Hornblower tour the brig?

4. What does Hooper flatly reject?

5. What does Hornblower's ship come about as he is cruising the coast?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Hornblower's capture and journey to the cliffs.

2. What does Hornblower learn on his tour of the Bride of Abydos and what is his reaction?

3. Describe the dinner aboard the Bride of Abydos and the new "invention" that may revolutionize shipboard fare.

4. What does Hornblower believe about Lucy Hough and Spendlove, yet what indications are there that Hornblower is incorrect in his observations?

5. What happens immediately upon Hornblower's return that is disconcerting to him?

6. About what do the men converse while dining on the Bride of Aybados?

7. How do Hornblower and the governor disagree and what does Hornblower do about it for the moment?

8. Why does Hornblower quickly leave Curaçao and where does he go?

9. What does Hornblower learn from the Dutch and Spanish ministers with whom he converses?

10. Why does Hornblower write the letter and what demonstrates how little authority Johnson has over the group?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In chapter 4, Hornblower's wife, Barbara, inform Hornblower that Ramsbottom has made a big splash in the English social scene and that the man is a millionaire. It is the first time Hornblower has read the word as being attached to an individual, and he finds it distasteful in that context. Discuss one of the following:

1. Considering that Ramsbottom is labeled a millionaire in the early 1800s, he must be a man of considerable wealth, probably akin to a billionaire today. Why do you think he chooses to risk his life (which is still fairly young) on helping Bolívar towards liberation for Venezuela? Do you think his actions are admirable or foolish? Or both?

2. Ramsbottom could be labeled a filibuster or freebooter. Research that term as used in that era and define it, then answer the following questions: What do you think are the motives of most filibusters or freebooters? How do you think they have contributed to the instability of many governments? Do you think this type of person still works behind the scenes in unstable regions? Why or why not?

3. Ramsbottom seems unconcerned about his grave wound and exuberantly follows Bolívar's army. Do you think Ramsbottom is so passionate about freeing the Venezuelans from Spanish rule that he is not thinking clearly? Do you think many fanatics who do things despite huge odds or grave physical wounds are unbalanced? What makes a fanatic?

Essay Topic 2

Hornblower is a man who, for the most part, "plays by the book." Several of the men Hornblower encounters during the course of Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies do not play by the book. Discuss the following:

1. Cambronne seeks to liberate Napoleon, which would obviously plunge Europe into another round of war. Is Cambronne an admirable character? Do you think Hornblower admires him? Finds him despicable? A combination of both? What do you think of Cambronne's plans?

2. Ramsbottom also does not play by the rules. How do you think Hornblower views Ramsbottom's actions? Do you think Hornblower wishes he had more passion for something as Ramsbottom does? Is passion for a cause more common in younger men/women than those of Hornblower's age? Why or why not.

3. Hornblower "plays by the book" exactly in the case of Hudnutt and is willing to allow a rather simple-minded young man be hanged over a minor offense because discipline must be maintained. Do you think Hornblower should play by the book in this case? Do you think he knows that his wife is taking care of the matter and thus stays out of it? Whose actions are more admirable in this instance: Barbara's or Hornblower's?

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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