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. Who is presumed lost at sea?

2. Who is inspecting the articles in the camp?

3. Who is William Grimshaw?

4. What do the attackers do as they retreat?

5. To whom does the Chinese junk have to pay tribute?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Where does Aubrey take his passenger after Pulo Prabang?

3. How and why does Aubrey modify the Nutmeg of Consolation?

4. Why does Maturin become irascible and the rats become vicious?

5. How does Maturin find himself in a duel and what is the crew's response?

6. What interests Kesegaran in the sailors' camp and why are the sailors interested in her?

7. Who are some of the main characters who are marooned?

8. What does Maturin do with the girls?

9. What do Maturin and Martin do and what do they find?

10. With what is chapter 3 mostly concerned and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Patrick O'Brian has tried 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 Nutmeg of Consolation qualifies as an historical fiction? Why or why not?

2. If much of the events in the book are historical, what surprises you about the way the events play out?

3. Do you think the culture of that era (early 1800s) is more or less advanced than you imagined? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

The Nutmeg of Consolation is one book in a series of novels involving Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin. Discuss the following.

1. What are two advantages of writing a series of novels about the same characters? Use examples.

2. What are two disadvantages of writing a series of novels about the same characters? Use examples.

3. Do you prefer to read a standalone book, or a series of books with the same main characters? Explain your response.

4. Do you think it is easier or more difficult (or about the same) to write a standalone book versus one in a series? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Oftentimes, a book is more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think The Nutmeg of Consolation is? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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