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. What did Hornblower do as personal penance when he left England?

2. Who is William McCullum?

3. What does Hornblower ask the King?

4. What angers some of the onlookers?

5. What cannot be found?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Hornblower know something is amiss on the Amelia Jane and what does he do?

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

5. Describe how the boat progresses.

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

7. What is Hornblower's destination after Gibraltar?

8. Describe Maria Hornblower.

9. Who and what does Hornblower take on board at Gibraltar?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Hornblower and the Atropos, like many, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note (until he arrives back home). Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Hornblower and the Atropos and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Hornblower and the Atropos is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of McCullum and Eisenbeiss. How are both abrasive? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Is either man's cause more worthy than the other? Do you think Hornblower is more sympathetic towards one of the men compared to the other? Why? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Hornblower in chapters 1-4 with Hornblower as he is in the remainder of Hornblower and the Atropos. How can you tell they are the same man? How do they seem different? Which do you enjoy more? Why? Which of the two Hornblowers seems more "real?" Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples. (Consider Maria Hornblower, Tom Jenkins, Pallender, Admiral Lord St. Vincent, Lieutenant John Jones, the Prince Seitz-Bunau, the Mudir, George Turner and Collingwood as secondary characters for the purpose of this essay topic.)

(see the answer keys)

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