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. What is Aubrey's response to being told a pardon would be seriously considered?

2. What does Surprise do after she finishes with the task in question #121?

3. What is Maturin's relationship to the man in question #83?

4. What happens to Diane after the event in question #124?

5. What does Aubrey feel during the battle over Diane?

Essay 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

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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