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 Canning's religious background?

2. Who is Richard Canning?

3. While traveling under the new orders, where does Aubrey engage in a skirmish with the French?

4. What is the probable fate of many prisoners freed along with Maturin?

5. What problems, if any, does the inspection of the H.M.S. Surprise uncover?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Nicolls almost inconsolable?

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

3. How does Jack Aubrey come to command the H.M.S. Lively?

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

5. What special advantage is there in Aubrey's capturing of the French gunboat?

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

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

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Foreshadowing is a plot device that prepares the readers for turns the story may take. Discuss foreshadowing in the novel. What happens or appears early in the novel and comes to be important in later chapters?

Essay Topic 3

Weather plays quite a role in the novel. What impact do the storms at sea in particular have on Aubrey and Maturin?

(see the answer keys)

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