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 helps the dehydration a little?

2. Why does Maturin leave the cricket match?

3. How might the voyage back to England be described?

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

5. How are Aubrey's men received?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why do the boats become separated and what are the advantages and disadvantages of that happening?

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

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

6. Why do you think the sailors on board La Flèche do not take the war with the United States very seriously?

7. 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?

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

9. Why do you think Aubrey argues so strenuously to retain his lieutenants and midshipmen?

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

During this era when the book takes place, if a vessel under the command of a naval officer captures another vessel from a country with whom they are warring or captures a pirate vessel, etc., the crew of the victorious vessel shares in the goods, money and value of the vessel. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think the British had such a policy in place then?

2. What are the possible abuses that can arise from such a policy?

3. Why do you think this policy is eventually abandoned?

Essay Topic 2

When Aubrey arrives in Boston and leaves the USS Constitution, Evans presents a purse of money to Aubrey, which is a collection taken up among the men. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think the "enemy" gives Aubrey money, when likely they had not much themselves?

2. What do you think prompts generosity to strangers?

3. Do you think more people are generous to homeless persons collecting money on street corners or to more structured charities? Defend your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Sailors are notoriously superstitious. Even Aubrey, though very bright in many ways, is somewhat superstitious, a trait common to many sailors. Discuss the following:

1. What is superstition? Can you name a few common superstitions? Do any of them seem to have any validity in logic?

2. Why do you think sailors have the reputation for being superstitious? Do you think it is true? What superstitions are mentioned in THE FORTUNE OF WAR?

3. What are some of the superstitions you are familiar with that sailors seem to believe? Do you believe any of them? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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