The Nutmeg of Consolation Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Approximately how many men are marooned on an unnamed island?

2. What does much of Chapter 3 offer?

3. What is Aubrey planning as he leaves port?

4. What does Aubrey do with the cannons?

5. What are his carpenters and seamen begun building?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the landing crew find on Sweeting's Island?

2. How does Maturin find himself in a duel and what is the crew's response?

3. Describe the first attempt of the Nutmeg of Consolation to engage Cornélie.

4. What happens to Maturin's fortune?

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

6. What does Maturin give Paulton for his help?

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

8. Where does Li Po take the men and what important information Maturin gain along the on the trip?

9. What does Maturin do with the girls?

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

Essay 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

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

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)

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