H.M.S. Surprise 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. What is Aubrey's fate upon return to England from Port Mahon??

2. How does Maturin aid in Aubrey's rescue attempt at Port Mahon?

3. What is found on the French gunboat that may aid Aubrey against the French?

4. What becomes of the biological specimens collected on the rocks?

5. How does Maturin get to the gunboat after the escape from the Port Mahon prison?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Nicolls almost inconsolable?

2. What allusion does Maturin make while marooned on the rocks?

3. What does Maturin think of the possible consequences of the First Lord's mention of the doctor's name during a meeting?

4. If the sea can represent peace to someone like Aubrey, how are the results of the terrible storm ironic?

5. Why is the whereabouts of the French officer Dutourd a potential problem?

6. What is the condition of the prisoner Maturin when Aubrey's crew take him away from the prison?

7. How does Aubrey learn he is to break station and sail to Minorca?

8. After the planned rendezvous with Maturin at Minorca, what is Captain Aubrey supposed to do concerning the H.M.S. Lively?

9. What do Aubrey and his men intend to do when they gather at the prison where Maturin is being held?

10. Why is the voyage to Kampong be good for Stephen Maturin?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Early in the novel, the Chinese and Japanese of the crew on the H.M.S. Lively massacre every one of the French men during the engagement near Cape Gooseberry. Aubrey leaves out the details of the violence when he writes to Sophia about the victory. Why do you think the pressed sailors are so brutal? By leaving out the details of the bloodshed, from what is Aubrey trying to protect Sophia? Is the excessive violence due to a cultural difference? What do you think Aubrey has to say about that?

Essay Topic 2

Early in the novel, Stephen Maturin willingly discusses Jack Aubrey with Sophia who is engaged to Jack. That personal conversation contrasts with Maturin's awkward advice when Mr. Nicolls confesses misdeeds on their excursion to St. Paul's Rocks. What is the difference between the two conversations? What is Maturin's attitude toward Sophia and toward Nicolls? Does either conversation bring up any past incidents in Maturin's mind? What does Maturin's reaction in each conversation tell us about him?

Essay Topic 3

A novel may have more than one theme, but each theme includes a subject and a verb. To say the theme of a poem is war, for instance, is incomplete. More appropriate would be to say the theme is that war is futile. Discuss a major theme in the novel H.M.S. Surprise. Explain why you believe it is a major theme and use evidence from the book to support your point.

(see the answer keys)

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