The Letter of Marque Test | Final 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 does Sir Joseph tell Maturin he has that might help Aubrey?

2. What arrives at Aubrey's home in Chapter 4?

3. How does the public feel about Aubrey?

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

5. Why does Martin take Padeen to the dentist?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Maturin tell Sir Joseph about Aubrey's circumstances and what Aubrey hopes?

2. What is the final outcome about the incident in question #31?

3. Following Surprises first shakedown cruise when Maturin visits Sir Joseph, what does he find out about Wray and Ledward?

4. What arrives at Aubrey's home when he returns from Surprises first shakedown cruise and what do he and Maturin discuss when Maturin comes over after seeing Sir Joseph?

5. How does Maturin fix Aubrey and what does Aubrey say about the laudanum?

6. Why is Aubrey driven to succeed in taking Diane?

7. How is Aubrey greeted in England upon his return and what does Sir Joseph do for him?

8. What is Aubrey's plan for taking Diane?

9. Why does Aubrey encounter Babbington outside St. Martin's bay and what does Aubrey want from him?

10. What happens while the crew struggle to free Diane? How is Aubrey injured?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Surprise captures two American privateers and their five prizes. One of the privateers contained the entire considerable treasure of the Spanish ship Azul. Though Spain and England are allies against France and America, at this point in history, the fact that the American ship had transferred the cargo and the Spanish officers had deserted their sinking ship makes the quicksilver Aubrey's legal prize.

Not only is Great Britian engaged in a war against France and Napoleon's allies, it is at the time of THE LETTER OF MARQUE engaged in a war with the United States, later named the War of 1812. Discuss the following:

1. What is the War of 1812 and why does it occur? Do you think the British or Americans are most to blame for the problems that engender the war? to which side does O'Brian show the most sympathy?

2. How does it feel if you are from the United States to read about a war from the perspective of the "enemy"? How does that affect your reactions to the events in the book?

3. What do you think are the unique problems for Great Britain in being engaged in wars on two different fronts? Do you think Great Britain was unwise in not settling the issues with the United States rather than going to war? Why or why not.

Essay Topic 2

Patrick O'Brian tries as much as possible to use historical events and facts around which to weave his work of fiction. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think THE LETTER OF MARQUE qualifies as an historical fiction? Why or why not?

2. If much of the events in THE LETTER OF MARQUE are historical, what surprises you about the way the events play out?

3. Do you think the culture of that era is more or less advanced than you imagined? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

Maturin is an opium addict, taking truly heroic doses of laudanum on a daily basis. His friend Martin suspects this impropriety, and they discuss the relative merits of laudanum. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think the use of opium is not regulated as it is today?

2. Do you think it is a more or less enlightened society that regulates personal drug use? Explain.

3. Do you think the execution of Maturin's duties are compromised by his frequent use of opium? Why or why not? Give examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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