Mr. Midshipman Hornblower Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why are the men aboard the Justinian so discontented with their lives?

Hornblower realizes that Justinian is not a happy ship because the captain is dying of a wasting disease, and the officers are mostly older, failed men, and the crew is discontent.

2. Why does Simpson take such a strong disliking towards Hornblower?

Simpson takes a particular dislike to Hornblower and hazes him relentlessly. On one occasion, Captain Keene sneers at Simpson's navigation ability and subsequently praises Hornblower's navigation skill.

3. What does Hornblower contemplate doing when Simpson's hazing gets worse and worse?

As Simpson begins hazing Hornblower more and more to the point of it becoming unbearable, Hornblower dwells constantly on suicide and desertion, finding life aboard the ship intolerable.

4. What are the rules set out for the duel between Simpson and Hornblower?

The terms of the duel between Simpson and Hornblower are that the pistols will be shot at point-blank range--yet only one pistol is to be loaded. Hornblower will thus either die instantly or survive without a wound.

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