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. What is Maturin carrying when his turn at bat arrives?

2. What is mainly responsible for the Leopard arriving at the port safely?

3. How are Aubrey's men received?

4. How many men are in Aubrey's life boat?

5. How does Maturin find the Captain of the La Flèche?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What are a couple other playful tongue-in-cheek type discussions that firmly entrench the fun tone of the novel?

4. How would you respond to being in open sea in an eighteen-foot boat with twelve other people?

5. What do you think is a possible cause of La Flèche catching fire and exploding?

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

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

8. 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?

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

10. Why is Aubrey depressed at the news of the war?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Captain Jack Aubrey is in some ways a larger-than-life hero. Despite incredible odds, he usually comes out on top, in this book and in the others in the series. Discuss the following:

1. Does having a larger-than-life hero make that person less of a hero? In other words, which is more admirable--a hero who ultimately always "lands on his feet," or one who strives against impossible odds and doesn't succeed?

2. Does a character have to be successful in order to be a hero? Explain your answer.

3. Choose one other character besides Aubrey who you might call a hero/heroine and explain why you choose that person.

4. Does every work of fiction have to have a hero? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Though this novel is probably more action driven rather than character driven, obviously there are several characters who make the novel what it is. Discuss one of the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Aubrey and Lambert.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Maturin and McLean.

3. Thoroughly analyze the character of Jack Aubrey, discussing both his strong and weak points and how both affect the outcome of the plot.

Essay Topic 3

The Fortune of War is one book in a series of novels involving Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin. Discuss the following?

1. What is one advantage of writing a series of novels about the same characters? Use examples.

2. What is a disadvantage of writing a series of novels about the same characters? Use examples.

3. Do you prefer to read a standalone book, or a series of books with the same main characters? Explain your response.

4. Do you think it is easier or more difficult (or about the same) to write a standalone book versus one in a series? Explain your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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