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 does Sir Joseph Blain discuss with Maturin after the lecture?

2. How does Aubrey know he can trust the man he meets at Minorca?

3. How does H.M.S. Lively get messages and mail while on blockade duty?

4. What is the coast like where Aubrey goes ashore at Minorca?

5. What history, if any, does Aubrey have with the H.M.S. Surprise?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do Diana Villiers and Richard Canning leave England for India?

2. What prospects of freedom do the freed prisoners have?

3. Describe Dr. Stephen Maturin's relationship with Sophie Williams.

4. Does Maturin have any experience in counseling?

5. Describe the encounter between Aubrey's crew members and the French guard detail at the prison.

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

7. During the meeting of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, why is Sir Joseph Blain worried about the First Lord's mention of Dr. Stephen Maturin?

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

9. Why is Nicolls almost inconsolable?

10. What details does Aubrey omit from his letter to Sophie about the land raid he and the crew perform while headed for Minorca?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Both Stephen Maturin and Jack Aubrey assert control of their destinies. Maturin has the advantage of fortune, but Aubrey's heroism gains him position as well. What about the two major female characters? Do Sophia and Diana have control over their own fates? How does each woman assert herself?

Essay Topic 3

Political influence, then as now, often gets things done. Describe how political influence is used in the novel by both Maturin and Sir Joseph.

(see the answer keys)

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