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. Where does Aubrey recruit some dozen of the new sailors on the Surprise?

2. Who has Aubrey eyed in town as a possible romantic partner before he learns her identity?

3. Why does Aubrey need a schoolteacher?

4. What does Diana request of Maturin?

5. From where are live eels supposedly removed?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who goes ashore and who comes to meet the British and what is decided about Maturin?

2. Whom does Surprise encounter and what do they send with them?

3. What does Aubrey have to do before setting sail after the Norfolk and why?

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

5. What does Aubrey learn about Norfolk and how does his haste ultimately slow things down?

6. Who is in the long boat that pulls alongside Surprise and what do they tell Aubrey?

7. How do Maturin and Aubrey react differently to the information Allen is offering?

8. What is the outcome of Butcher and Martin's attempt to trephine Maturin?

9. With what is much of the early voyage of Surprise taken?

10. Who fails to return to the ship and what is learned about them?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the book more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Patrick O'Brian.

2. What in O'Brian's background may have helped him in writing The Far Side of the World? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 3

Oftentimes, a book has 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 Far Side of the World is? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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