Hornblower and the Atropos 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 Hornblower gain his first view of Atropos?

2. What is Lieutenant Jones' full name?

3. What is Hornblower ordered when he finds Collingwood's fleet?

4. How does Hornblower get soaked?

5. What does Hornblower volunteer to do?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Hornblower respond to Eisenbeiss's blusters?

2. How are things progressing at the beginning of the procession?

3. What happens when the Prince and his retinue come on board the Atropos?

4. What do Hornblower and Maria do after leaving the wherry?

5. Why is the Atropos anchored and what does Hornblower do with the time?

6. What does Hornblower do when he hears a shot in the foggy distance?

7. What happens at Oxford to relieve Hornblower of his volunteer job and then what does Hornblower do?

8. Why does the boat stop and what is the captain's concern?

9. How does Hornblower end this chapter as the consummate family man?

10. What happens to cause a crisis for Hornblower and what is his first response?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Hornblower and the Atropos is one book in a series of novels involving Horatio Hornblower. Discuss the following.

1. What is one advantage of writing a series of novels about the same characters?

2. What is a disadvantage of writing a series of novels about the same characters? Use examples.

3. Do you prefer to read a standalone book, or a series of books with the same main characters? Explain your response.

4. Do you think it is easier or more difficult (or about the same) to write a standalone book versus one in a series? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Admiral Hornblower is in some ways a larger-than-life hero. Despite incredible odds, he usually comes out on top, in this book and in the others in the series. Discuss the following:

1. Does having a larger-than-life hero make that person less of a hero? In other words, which is more admirable--a hero who ultimately always "lands on his feet," or one who strives against impossible odds and doesn't always succeed?

2. Does a character have to be successful in order to be a hero? Explain your answer.

3. Choose one other character besides Hornblower whom you might call a hero/heroine and explain why you choose that person.

4. Does every work of fiction have to have a hero? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Forester is masterful in his description of battles, storms and life in general in the West Indies in the early 1820s. Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze Forester's descriptive passages about life at sea, particularly in times of stormy weather or difficult passages. How does he use descriptions of the five senses to make the reader feel s/he is there? Do you find his descriptions compelling? Seemingly accurate? How would the novel be different if he did not include such descriptive passages?

2. Analyze Forester's descriptive passages about the social structure of the times and discuss what you think it would be like to be a person of wealth and/or privilege such as Hornblower, The Prince, Admiral St. Vincent or any other characters of the gentleman or noble class. Contrast that to the lives of those who are in a lower social strata such as the Singalese divers or the drunk who is leading the horses in chapter one.

3. Describe and analyze Forester's descriptive passages about the topographical setting and the physical descriptions of the people. Does Forester do an adequate job of actually making the reader "see" the land/sea where the action is taking place? How about getting a visual image of the characters? How do the descriptions of the setting add to the novel? Do you like having an idea of how a character looks? How would the novel be different without such descriptions?

(see the answer keys)

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