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 has a Dutch-built ship sunk?

2. Why is Maturin concerned about his wife?

3. What passes through the area?

4. To where does Kesegaran agree to carry a message?

5. Who will depart about the Cornélie?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Padeen Colman.

2. Describe the second encounter between the Nutmeg of Consolation and Cornélie.

3. Who does Aubrey convey to Pulo Prabang and why?

4. Describe Stephan Maturin.

5. How does Aubrey choose to arm his vessel and what is the advantage and disadvantage of doing so?

6. What is Pullings response to an offer of command?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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