The Nutmeg of Consolation 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. Why is the Nutmeg of Consolation readied for sea in haste?

2. What does much of Chapter 3 offer?

3. After whom is Aubrey's new ship named?

4. For what are the nests good?

5. What is critical after the attack?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Maturin give Paulton for his help?

2. Describe the fight between the Dyaks and the English sailors.

3. When will the schooner be completed, and what will the men do once it is built?

4. About what does Aubrey brood and what are his thoughts about the topic?

5. Why is the situation not as precarious as it could be for the marooned men?

6. What does Aubrey offer Maturin and why do they decide to go to Sweeting's Island?

7. Who does the Nutmeg of Consolation encounter and what do they learn?

8. Who is William Grimshaw and how does he help provide comic relief on board?

9. How does Maturin become ill and what does he see when he awakens from a fever?

10. What fortuitous encounter saves the day for the Nutmeg of Consolation and what happens with the Cornélie?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in The Nutmeg of Consolation.

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of The Nutmeg of Consolation. How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of The Nutmeg of Consolation. How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

Essay Topic 2

During this era in which The Nutmeg of Consolation is set, there are strongly-adhered-to class distinctions. Aubrey and Maturin are both gentlemen. Discuss one of the following:

1. How do the divisions of class tend to make divisions among men? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a class-based society? What evidence is there of those advantages and disadvantages in The Nutmeg of Consolation?

2. In the English military of that era, nobles and gentlemen generally were the officers and very few of the working or peasant class could cross the line into officer territory. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of such a system?

3. Do you think there is a class system in the United States? Does it carry over to the military? Why or why not? (Some research may be required.)

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. Research and define the literary term "narrative contrivance."

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

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

4. 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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