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 the captain of the force who assaults Aubrey's camp wear?

2. Why does Maturin collapse?

3. Why do several new men join the crew?

4. How had Fox behaved?

5. What does Maturin hope the Cornélie will be without?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who are some of the main characters who are marooned?

2. What is Aubrey's plan concerning an engagement with the Cornélie?

3. What does Maturin do with the girls?

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

5. How does Maturin help the effort to catch the Cornélie?

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

7. Where does Maturin find Padeen Colman and what does Maturin do?

8. Upon what factors does Aubrey's plan hinge?

9. How do the English lose hope even though they repulsed the Dyak attack?

10. How do Maturin and Martin renew their acquaintance and what is Aubrey's response?

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

In the world of academe, historical fiction is often considered an inferior form of the novel compared to "classic" literature. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think historical fiction might be considered second-rate compared to the classics?

2. Do you think historical fiction has the same elements as the classics? Why or why not?

3. What are the purposes do you think for people reading "the classics"? What are the purposes for people reading historical fiction? Is one purpose better than another? Explain your response.

4. Would you read historical fiction even outside an educational setting? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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