The Far Side of the World 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. Why is Martin considered bad luck?

2. Who acts as First Lieutenant?

3. How does Surprise send mail home?

4. What does Aubrey notice as Surprise sails South?

5. What does Diana request of Maturin?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens to the whalers in the long boat?

2. Why is Aubrey anxious and how are Maturin and Martin passing the time while Surprise is under repair?

3. Why does Aubrey start to seek land?

4. What does Horner confront Maturin about and what is Maturin's response?

5. How does the dinner engagement affect the rumor? What other rumor about Maturin and Mrs. Fielding is circulating?

6. Why is it fortunate that Allen is on board Surprise?

7. How much does the problem with the pilot delay Surprise and what does Aubrey have to do to catch up?

8. With whom does Aubrey meet in Gibraltar and what is the rumor about him and Mrs. Fielding?

9. What sort of information does Allen discuss?

10. What happens when Maturin comes on deck during a storm?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Far Side of the World belongs to the historical novel genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the historical novel genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a historical novel and a historical novel mystery?

Essay Topic 2

Often in O'Brian's series involving Jack Aubrey, his ship and/or life is saved by extraordinary means. Discuss the following:

1. Research and define the literary term "narrative contrivance."

2. Identify and analyze a time in The Far Side of the World when O'Brian makes free use of the technique of narrative contrivance to save Aubrey and his ship or to set up a subplot.

3. Does the use of narrative contrivance diminish the impact of the plot? The believability of the storyline?

4. Is there any other way O'Brian could have a mixture of suspense and action while at the same time making certain the main characters are not killed?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of The Far Side of the World, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in The Far Side of the World. (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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