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. What does Maturin talk about most concerning his time on the Ringle?

2. Who does Aubrey's fleet capture?

3. What does Aubrey hope to do concerning the ship that is spotted?

4. What does Stephen ask his Kroomen guide?

5. What does Aubrey think about the fighting condition of the fleet?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the world of academe, historical fiction is often considered an inferior form of the novel compared to "classic" literature. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think historical fiction might be considered second-rate compared to the classics?

2. Do you think historical fiction has the same elements as the classics? Why or why not?

3. What are the purposes do you think for people reading "the classics"? What are the purposes for people reading historical fiction? Is one purpose better than another? Explain your response.

4. Would you read historical fiction even outside an educational setting? Why or why not?

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

Discuss one of the following:

1. Define irony in literary terms. Discuss two ironic situations that occur in The Commodore.

2. Define symbolism in literary terms. Discuss the use and meaning of five symbols you choose to analyze from The Commodore. What do they symbolize? Is the symbolism obvious? Effective? Does the symbolism contribute to the enjoyment of reading?

3. Discuss five literary devices that occur in The Commodore and how they are used. Are they effective? Do they add or detract from the reading of the book? Why or why not. Some possible techniques: Allusion, connotation, denouement, dialogue, flashback, figurative language, motif, metaphor, narrator, point of view, simile, mood, and puns.

(see the answer keys)

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