The Nutmeg of Consolation Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What Passage does his ship run down?

2. What does Maturin think poverty may affect?

3. What does the captain of the Triton do?

4. What are Aubrey's intentions?

5. Who does Maturin offend?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At sea, the commander of a vessel is "God," and failure to obey the Captain's orders can subject one to court martial and even execution. Discuss the following:

1. Should sailors be held accountable for anything they do under orders? Discuss fully, using examples both from The Nutmeg of Consolation and your own knowledge.

2. Why do you think mutiny on a ship is punishable by death?

3. Is there ever justification for a crew to mutiny?

4. Is it just for a captain to have that much power over his crew? What sort of abuses can this lead to?

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

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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