The Fortune of War 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. How does Maturin almost make a serious faux pas?

2. What game does Maturin believe cricket resembles?

3. Why does the Leopard make quite a stir when entering the port?

4. How was the news disseminated?

5. Where does the Constitution lead Java?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Mrs. Wogan and how does she figure in the previous novel, which is mentioned in the initial chapters of this novel?

2. What are some events that foreshadow the loss of the La Flèche at the end of Chapter 2?

3. Do you think it is helpful for the author to present some background information from other books in the series, particularly the one just preceding this one?

4. Why do you think the USS Constitution leads the Java on a long chase to sea?

5. Why is it somewhat miraculous that the HMS Leopard pulls into Pulo Batang successfully?

6. Why do you think it would be a serious faux pas to not attend the Captain's table to which one is invited in order to manage one's specimens as Maturin almost does?

7. What tone for the novel is set and how is it set by the references to "Abraham"?

8. What surprises Aubrey once he is quartered at Asclepia?

9. Do you think it would be difficult for the men to stay optimistic if after spotting a ship but they do not see you?

10. What do you think it means that the officers are paroled and why is this so?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot.

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of THE FORTUNE IN WAR.

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of THE FORTUNE IN WAR.

Essay Topic 2

Maturin acts as a covert agency for the Crown and in the previous book, gives Wogan false intelligence that results in several French intelligence agents being killed as double agents. Discuss the following:

1. What sort of covert operations does Maturin undertake? How similar do you think his covert operations are to that of an organization such as the CIA of today?

2. How much does Maturin's covert operations how he and Aubrey fare in Boston after being captured by the Americans?

3. Do you see any conflict of interests between being a doctor and also a covert operator? Why or why not.

Essay Topic 3

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 Fortune of War.

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 described in the novel with one from WWII.

(see the answer keys)

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