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. What does Maturin do to supplement the food supply?

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

3. Where is Aubrey when Maturin awakes from his illness?

4. What does Maturin find when he goes to gather the nests?

5. Who organizes the shipwrecked men's camp?

Short Essay Questions

1. What good news does Maturin receive from Sir Joseph Blaine?

2. What happens shortly after the dinner?

3. How do Maturin and Martin renew their acquaintance and what is Aubrey's response?

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

5. Why is Surprise spending so much time in port?

6. What favor does Raffles' wife ask of Aubrey and what is his response?

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

8. How does Maturin help the effort to catch the Cornélie?

9. What has been Aubrey's chief concern and why?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Though it is not as evident in The Nutmeg of Consolation as others, most of the entire series of novels concerning Captain Jack Aubrey takes place during the Napoleonic Wars; therefore understanding the political and social situation during that time helps to a greater understanding and appreciation of this book and others in the series. Discuss one of the following:

1. Research and write an expository essay about how the Napoleonic Wars begin and end.

2. Research and write an expository essay about the naval aspect of the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and France.

3. Compare/Contrast the importance of the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars to the importance of the British navy during either WWI or WWII.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of manipulation and power in The Nutmeg of Consolation. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with manipulation and power? Why? What are some symbols of manipulation and power? Symbols of powerlessness? What characters seem powerless?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of war in The Nutmeg of Consolation. Why is Britain engaged in a war? What are some symbols of war that occur in the book? Is the war justified? Does Aubrey and (his crew perform with honor as warriors? Do you think their behavior to the enemy (first the Dyaks and then the French sailors) would be in accordance with the Geneva Conventions (you may need to research this)?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death. How does the world of Aubrey's time seem to view death? Who tries to avoid killing? Who seems to kill for frivolous reasons? Who seems afraid of dying? Not afraid? Who meets death gracefully? In resignation? With joy? With fear?

(see the answer keys)

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