The Thirteen-gun Salute 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 document gives Aubrey the authority to command Surprise?

2. How does Aubrey feel about Standish's problem?

3. Who is the surgeon aboard the Diane?

4. What is the second lieutenant's nickname?

5. What nickname did the men call Aubrey?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Maturin think about Batavia and what is his hope?

2. Who owns the Surprise and what kind of work does the owner do?

3. What does Maturin think about doing about the ship they saw and what does he decide?

4. What is the crew of the Surprise like?

5. What does Maturin think about in relation to Padeen?

6. What happens to Standish on the journey to Corunna?

7. What do Aubrey and Maturin do after meeting with Fox?

8. Who does Maturin see on the ship and what does he think about it?

9. What happens to the Surprise with Aubrey's new orders and what do Pullings and Aubrey arrange?

10. Why is the man in question #2 on the Surprise?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 trustworthy than enlisted men back then? What about today? Why or why not?

2. In the present military in the United States, both officers and enlisted can be held for court martial for consorting with a foreign national while in another country such as in the "bawdy-house" in Pulo Prabang. Why do you think this is so? Do you agree with the policy?

3. In the time in which Thirteen Gun Salute 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 moral and/or morals of non-officers? How? What about the morale of each group?

Essay Topic 2

Thirteen Gun Salute, like many, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note in that the treaty was obtained and the men on the ship were all saved before Diane was smashed apart. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most) people want what they perceive as a happy ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Thirteen Gun Salute and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Thirteen Gun Salute is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. State what you think are three characteristics of a successful novel and whether or not Thirteen Gun Salute in your opinion is a successful novel.

Essay Topic 3

Often in O'Brian's series involving Jack Aubrey, his ship and/or life is saved by extraordinary means. Discuss the following:

1. Research and define the literary term "narrative contrivance."

2. Identify and analyze a time in the book when O'Brian makes free use of the technique of narrative contrivance to save Aubrey and his ship or to set up a subplot in Thirteen Gun Salute.

3. Does the use of narrative contrivance diminish the impact of the plot? The believability of the storyline?

4. Is there any other way O'Brian could have a mixture of suspense and action while at the same time making certain the main characters are not killed?

(see the answer keys)

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