The Letter of Marque 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. In what position will Barrett Bonden work on Surprise?

2. In what position will Killick work on the Surprise?

3. In what position will Tom Pullings work on Surprise?

4. Who suspects Maturin has an addiction?

5. Where are the two men from question #42 living now?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Padeen get injured and why does he continue to take pain medication?

2. What type of work does Maturin do and for what is he also known?

3. To what is Maturin addicted and who discusses it with him?

4. Why is Maturin late for Surprise's sailing?

5. What ship does Surprise raise at the end of the storm and what is that ship doing?

6. What do Maturin and Martin do after they join the ship's company and how does Aubrey feel there? What happens to encourage Aubrey?

7. What does Maturin do and where does he do it right after he buys her?

8. What does the escape of Wray and Ledward lead Maturin to believe?

9. Which old friends or crew members join Aubrey on Surprise?

10. What does Aubrey do about the ship they raise near the end of the storm? What does Maturin find out from a man on the ship?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Seemingly, reinstatement is within grasp, but Aubrey is too proud to accept it on any terms but his own. While most men would jump at the chance of an official pardon, Aubrey sees it only as an admission of guilt and declines. Aubrey's decision is not practical but instead is based on ideals. This marks a major turning point in Aubrey's characterization as it demonstrates that he is fully committed to correct principles.

1. Discuss Aubrey's refusal to accept a pardon and whether you think it is a foolish decision.

2. In light of the above statement discuss what is meant by the cliche "false pride" and whether you think Aubrey is afflicted with it.

3. There have been a number of documented cases in justice where a person refuses to plead guilty to a lesser charge because they were innocent of any charge and yet were convicted and sent to prison. Discuss what you believe you would do if you were charged with a crime you did not commit. For example, would you risk 20 years in prison to have a jury trial for a crime you did not commit or would you plead to a crime you also did not commit but would only put you in prison for a year?

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. Identify and analyze a time in The Letter of Marque when O'Brian makes free use of the technique of narrative contrivance to save Aubrey and his ship.

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

3. 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

Along with superstitions, the ships crew seem to find mystical meanings in various symbols. Discuss the following:

1. What are six symbols in THE LETTER OF MARQUE and their meanings. Are the meanings logical or based upon superstitions?

2. Discuss three metaphors in THE LETTER OF MARQUE and their impact on the understanding of the plot.

3. Discuss O'Brian's narrative style as it applies to his descriptions. Is his style effective? Interesting? Lively?

(see the answer keys)

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