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 do the attackers do as they retreat?

2. Who is Fox's clerk?

3. What does Aubrey do with the cannons?

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

5. Why is Maturin concerned about his wife?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Maturin and Martin do and what do they find?

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

3. How does Aubrey plan for an attack on Cornélie?

4. Why is Aubrey and his crew marooned?

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

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

7. What are Maturin and Martin spending much time doing?

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

9. What does Maturin do with the girls?

10. Describe the fight between the Dyaks and the English sailors.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Maturin acts as a covert agency for the Crown and uses his intelligence connections to slow down Cornélie's resupplying in order to give The Nutmeg of Consolation a chance to catch up and capture the French vessel.

1. What sort of covert operations does Maturin undertake? How similar do you think his covert operations are to that of an organization such as the CIA of today?

2. How much does Maturin's covert operations effect good outcomes for the The Nutmeg of Consolation and other British endeavors during The Nutmeg of Consolation?

3. Do you see any conflict of interests between being a doctor and also a covert operator? Why or why not.

Essay Topic 2

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 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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