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 hope the Cornélie will be without?

2. Who receives the commission for the HMS Nutmeg of Consolation?

3. Who does Aubrey's ship transport?

4. What do the attackers do as they retreat?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe Padeen Colman.

4. What does Maturin give Paulton for his help?

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

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

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

8. How does Aubrey gain a vessel to replace the Diane?

9. In what condition does Aubrey find the Surprise?

10. What does Maturin do that gains the men assistance?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Aubrey is an officer and a gentleman and is therefore accorded more respect and trust even in enemy territory than the common sailor. For example, he give his word as an officer that there are no "absconders" on his ship. Discuss the following:

1. Does it seem likely that officers are usually more respectable than enlisted men back then? What about today? Why or why not.

2. Aubrey is very upset with Matruin for bringing Colman on board because Aubrey gave his word there were no stowaways on The Nutmeg of Consolation. Since Aubrey gave his word in all good faith, do you think he has lost honor because he inadvertently lies? Why or why not.

3.. In the time in which The Nutmeg of Consolation is set, an officer's word was assumed to always be good; whereas a non-officer was not considered trustworthy. What is the flaw in this standard? Do you think it affects the morale and/or morals of non-officers? How?

Essay Topic 3

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.)

(see the answer keys)

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