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

2. Who is considered a wanted fugitive?

3. What does Maturin want from the local people with whom he speaks?

4. What helps Maturin's physical problems?

5. Who is Sam Panda?

Short Essay Questions

1. With whom does Maturin meet and why?

2. What is done at the meeting for the rebellion?

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

4. What side trip do Maturin and Eduardo take and what happens after they leave there?

5. How does Aubrey fool the whaler?

6. What does Pullings see and hear as he puts out to sea in Surprise?

7. Where has Maturin been sent after the collapse of the rebellion?

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

9. What does Aubrey hope to find as they sail to Peru and how does he find it?

10. What is the result of Martin's self-medication?

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

Patrick O'Brian has tried as much as possible to use historical events and facts around which to weave his work of fiction. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think The Wine-dark Sea qualifies as an historical fiction? Why or why not?

2. If much of the events in the book are historical, what surprises you about the way the events play out?

3. Do you think the culture of that era is more or less advanced than you imagined? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

A work of fiction is often organized around a structure called a plot. Discuss the following:

1. Define plot and its major parts (rising action, climax, falling action, resolution [or denouement]. Write a sentence or two synopsis of the major plot of the The Wine-dark Sea.

2. Identify where the parts of the plot seem to fall in The Wine-dark Sea. Explain using examples.

3. Define the literary term "subplot." Write a sentence or two synopsis of a subplot in The Wine-dark Sea.

4. Identify the major parts of the subplot you identified in task number 3.

5. Why do you think identifying the plot and elements of the plot is useful?

(see the answer keys)

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