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. Between whom is a treaty arranged?

2. Who is presumed lost at sea?

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

4. Who is Fox's clerk?

5. What do the men do for entertainment?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Maturin become ill and what does he see when he awakens from a fever?

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

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

4. What has Welby overdone in Aubrey's estimation, but why does Aubrey still admire the man?

5. What does Aubrey offer Maturin and why do they decide to go to Sweeting's Island?

6. What does Maturin say is wrong and what does he do?

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

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

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

10. What does Cornélie do in response to the Nutmeg of Consolation fleeing the harbour?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Nutmeg of Consolation, like many, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why? not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of The Nutmeg of Consolation and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

In addition to understanding the war in which O'Brian's novels are set, it is quite helpful to have a basic understanding of nautical terminology and the types of ships and their armaments that were used during the early 1800s. Discuss the following:

1. Define ten of the most commonly-used shipboard terms and discuss how those terms are used in The Nutmeg of Consolation.

2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the ships used in the early 1800s?

3. How is the British navy organized during this period (early 1800s) and how different do you think it is organized today (including how one rises in rank).

4. Compare/contrast one of the naval battles/hostile actions between two vessels described in the novel with one from WWII.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 965 words
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