The Commodore Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where does the squadron arrive?

2. How does the operation on Mr. Gray go?

3. Why is Aubrey upset about Sophie's actions when he was gone?

4. How does Diana greet Stephen?

5. Why does Captain Thomas become defensive?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of manipulation and power in The Commodore. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with manipulation and power? Why? What are some symbols of manipulation and power? Symbols of powerlessness? What characters seem powerless?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of war in The Commodore. Why is Britain engaged in a war? What are some symbols of war that occur in the book? Is the war justified? Does Aubrey and his crew perform with honor as warriors? Do you think their behavior to the enemy would be in accordance with the Geneva Conventions (you may need to research this)?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death. How does the world of Aubrey's time seem to view death? Who tries to avoid killing? Who seems to kill for frivolous reasons? Who seems afraid of dying? Not afraid? Who meets death gracefully? In resignation? With joy? With fear?

Essay Topic 2

In addition to understanding the war in which O'Brian's novels are set, it is quite helpful to have a basic understanding of nautical terminology and the types of ships and their armaments that were used during the early 1800s. Discuss the following:

1. Define ten of the most commonly-used shipboard terms and discuss how those terms are used in The Hundred Days.

2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the ships used in the early 1800s?

3. How is the British navy organized during this period (early 1800s) and how different do you think it is organized today (including how one rises in rank).

4. Compare/contrast one of the naval battles/hostile actions between two vessels described in the novel with one from WWII.

Essay Topic 3

Oftentimes, a book is more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think The Commodore is? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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