The Letter of Marque Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How have the prizes taken on the shakedown tour helped Aubrey?

2. What does Aubrey hope his new situation will bring him?

3. What does Aubrey say every man must do for his next objective?

4. How much laudanum does Maturin say he takes every day?

5. How does the public feel about Aubrey?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

During this era when THE LETTER OF MARQUE 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

Aubrey learns from Maturin that what he had perceived as a kick in the small of the back is actually a pistol ball--or bullet--lodged near his spine. In an excruciatingly painful but successful operation Maturin removes the ball. Much attention is given to the treatment of both wounds and illnesses by Maturin. Maturin seems far more advanced than the typical doctor of that era. Discuss one of the following:

1. Compare/contrast the medical remedies Maturin uses in THE LETTER OF MARQUE to that which would be done in our modern world.

2. Many wars are partially, if not completely, determined by factors other than the actual fighting. One of those factors is disease. Research and discuss how epidemics/pandemics have influenced the outcome of three different wars throughout history.

3. Discuss some of the medical remedies Maturin performs/uses that were probably not used in that era.

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 LETTER OF MARQUE.

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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