The Surgeon's Mate 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. About what does Aubrey muse during his and Sophie's reunion?

2. Who is pursuing Aubrey, Maturin and Villiers?

3. What is notable about Harry Johnson?

4. Who is Kimber?

5. What does Maturin buy Villiers?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are Maturin, Aubrey and Villiers anxiously awaiting Captain Broke's recovery?

2. Describe Amanda Smith.

3. What is one of Villier's prized possessions and how does she come by it?

4. Describe Sophie Aubrey.

5. What depresses Aubrey amidst all the celebrations?

6. How does Smith behave during this waiting period and what is Aubrey's response?

7. What does Villiers confide in Maturin and how does he respond?

8. How does Maturin pass the time at the ball?

9. Describe the meeting and interaction between Aubrey and Amanda Smith.

10. Describe Jack Aubrey.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

THE SURGEON'S MATE is one book in a series of novels involving Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin. Discuss the following.

1. What is a couple advantages of writing a series of novels about the same characters? Use examples.

2. What are a couple disadvantages of writing a series of novels about the same characters? Use examples.

3. Do you prefer to read a standalone book, or a series of books with the same main characters? Explain your response.

4. Do you think it is easier or more difficult (or about the same) to write a standalone book versus one in a series? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Most protagonists are a mixture of admirable traits and character flaws, and Jack Aubrey is no exception. Aubrey's insight and a nearly infallible instinct tends to carry him through the various perils he encounters.

1. Trace and analyze situations when Aubrey demonstrates his instinct for handling problems at sea. Give specific examples to illustrate your analysis.

2. Trace and analyze Aubrey's character flaws, especially his ineptness on land, with business ventures and wandering eye as far as women are concerned.

3. Discuss how you think Aubrey's admirable traits helped him obtain a high rank in the Navy? How does Aubrey hide his character flaws so they have not impeded his career. Do any of those under his command seem to notice these flaws? Who? How does the reader know this?

Essay Topic 3

During this era when the book takes place, if a vessel under the command of a naval officer captures another vessel from a country with whom they are warring or captures a pirate vessel, etc...the crew of the victorious vessel shares in the goods, money and value of the vessel. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think the British had such a policy in place then?

2. What are the possible abuses that can arise from such a policy?

3. Why do you think this policy is eventually abandoned?

4. Which vessel(s) are mentioned in THE SURGEON'S MATE that fall under this maritime law and what are the circumstances of their capture? Does it seem fair?

(see the answer keys)

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