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. What does Aubrey fear?

2. What goes on for weeks?

3. What does Aubrey do when he first makes land?

4. What does Maturin advise Aubrey?

5. About what does Aubrey muse during his and Sophie's reunion?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Maturin and Villiers think about Aubrey's behavior with Smith?

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

3. What battle did Aubrey recently participate in and what was the outcome?

4. What is Aubrey's homecoming like?

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

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

7. What business does Maturin take care of while in Halifax?

8. What depresses Aubrey amidst all the celebrations?

9. Where does the Diligence arrive and what is the atmosphere of the town?

10. What is Villiers' reception like at the ball?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Aubrey, though very bright in many ways, is somewhat superstitious, a trait common to many sailors. Discuss the following:

1. What is superstition? Can you name a few common superstitions? Do any of them seem to have any validity in logic?

2. Why do you think sailors have the reputation for being superstitious? Do you think it is true? What occurs in The Surgeon's Mate that is explained by or attributed to superstition? Are there other explanations for the occurrences?

3. What are some of the superstitions you are familiar with that sailors seem to believe? Do you believe any of them? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Aubrey is an officer and a gentleman and is therefore accorded more respect and trust even in enemy territory than the common sailor. 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 has an adulterous affair with Amanda Smith in Halifax. Do you think this is how an officer and gentleman comports himself? Why or why not.

3. In the present military in the United States, both officers and enlisted can be held for court martial for adultery or having sexual relations with someone of inferior rank. Why do you think this is so? Do you agree with the policy?

4. In the time in which THE SURGEON'S MATE 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 them moral and/or morals of non-officers? How?

(see the answer keys)

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