The Wine-dark Sea Test | Final 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. Why do most of the local men desire autonomy from Spain?

2. Who is the Englishman serving aboard the ship from question #91?

3. What relation is Sam Panda to Aubrey?

4. What does Maturin's group detour to see?

5. What is getting in the way of Aubrey's plans on the Franklin?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Edward Shelton and why is he aboard the American whaler?

2. Who are two of the main figures in the planned rebellion and how do they stand on the issue?

3. How does Aubrey fool the whaler?

4. What does Aubrey attempt to do to correct what he found out about Dutourd?

5. What happens to Martin as Surprise is pursuing the French ship and what does Maturin do with his assistant?

6. What does Gayongos say about Dutourd when he arrives for the meeting?

7. What happens when Surprise reaches port at Callao? What does Maturin do?

8. Why does Aubrey go out to sea in Franklin, what does he encounter and what does he discover?

9. What shape is Maturin in after the storm and how does he make it out of the mountains?

10. What does Shelton volunteer for and what does he tell Aubrey?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

O'Brian is masterful in his description of battles and life in general in for a soldier during the the early 1800s. Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze O'Brian's descriptive passages about life as a sailor. How does he use descriptions of the five senses to make the reader feel s/he is there? Do you find his descriptions compelling? Seemingly accurate? How would the novel be different if O'Brian did not include such descriptive passages?

2. Analyze O'Brian's descriptive passages about the social structure of the times and discuss what you think it would be like to be a person of wealth and/or privilege such as Aubrey or Maturin or Dutourd. Contrast that to the lives of those who are in a lower social strata such as Vidal or Eduardo.

3. Describe and analyze O'Brian's descriptive passages about the topographical setting and the physical descriptions of the people. Does O'Brian do an adequate job of actually making the reader "see" the land/sea where the action is taking place? How about getting a visual image of the characters? How does the descriptions of the setting add to the novel? Do you like having an idea of how a character looks? How would the novel be different without such descriptions?

Essay Topic 2

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 Wine-dark Sea.

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).

Essay Topic 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in The Wine-dark Sea. Does the setting seem to be the best one for the plot? Can you think of a better setting? Why or why not?

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of The Wine-dark Sea. How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of The Wine-dark Sea. How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

(see the answer keys)

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