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 does Maturin discover in the hold of the ship?

2. What information does the Captain of the Dutch ship provide?

3. To where are Triton and the American prizes being escorted?

4. Who is Lieutenant Jean-Pierrre Dumesnil?

5. What must Aubrey do to ensure an English victory?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in The Nutmeg of Consolation.

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of The Nutmeg of Consolation. How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of The Nutmeg of Consolation. How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

(see the answer keys)

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