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 inspecting the articles in the camp?

2. What do the attackers do as they retreat?

3. Who is William Grimshaw?

4. What passes through the area?

5. Who is Fox's clerk?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Aubrey's plan concerning an engagement with the Cornélie?

2. Why is Aubrey and his crew marooned?

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

4. What action does Maturin take with the information he gains from the pirates and what does he hope to accomplish by his actions?

5. Upon what factors does Aubrey's plan hinge?

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

7. What else is Maturin doing while in port besides his nature study?

8. How does the dinner for officers fare that Aubrey hosts?

9. Who is John Paulton and what is he like?

10. Who does Aubrey convey to Pulo Prabang 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

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.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Define irony in literary terms. Discuss the irony of the situation of when Maturin spends a great deal of time contemplating his new poverty-stricken status when he is actually as wealthy as always.

2. Define symbolism in literary terms. Discuss the use and meaning of five symbols you choose to analyze from The Nutmeg of Consolation. What do they symbolize? Is the symbolism obvious? Effective? Does the symbolism contribute to the enjoyment of reading?

3. Discuss five literary devices that occur in The Nutmeg of Consolation and how they are used. Are they effective? Do they add or detract from the reading of the book? Why or why not. Some possible techniques: Allusion, connotation, denouement, dialogue, flashback, figurative language, motif, metaphor, narrator, point of view, simile, mood, and puns.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 970 words
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