Friday, November 25, 2016

Reading Period 10: November 25 - Dec 1: Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

Due Dates:
Quiz is due Monday, Nov 28
Assignments are due Wednesday, Nov 30

Long Read: 

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C. S. Forester
Stories 1, 2, and 3: "Hornblower and the Even Chance," "Hornblower and the Cargo of Rice," and "Hornblower and the Penalty of Failure."

Short Read:

"The Egg" by Sherwood Anderson


"Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray


We are going to learn to play Whist in class, like the sailors in the Navy do! After reading a description of the gameplay in "Hornblower and the Even Chance" look up the rules of whist and try to understand them. Here's one explanation from Wikipedia, and here is another. You can also try playing Whist online here.

Creative Assignments:

Choose one of these scenes and draw before and after illustrations: Illustrate the duel between Simpson and Hornblower in two panels, showing the moment before the pistols go off and the moment right after. Illustrate the fate of the Marie Gallante in two panels, one as Hornblower takes control and one at the end of the story. Illustrate the state of the English sailors and French prisoners in two panels: one just after they get into the small boat, and one later after they have been in the small boat for three days.


An elegy is a poetic form written on the occasion of someone's death. Read Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" as an example (as recited by Hornblower in our book). Also read "The Role of Elegy" by Mary Jo Bang. Take your pencil and paper to an actual graveyard and sit quietly on your own for a while. Then write a poem with "Elegy" in the title that includes an actual epitaph at the end. You don't have to use a regular meter or rhyme scheme like Gray. Write your elegy for a person, like Gray, that is imagined in your mind, someone who might be lying in that cemetery.


Write a short story of less than 1000 words or a dramatic script (here's how to format it) that shows one scene where a struggling small businessman experiences a dramatic change, as the restaurant in Sherwood Anderson's "The Egg." You can include up to five characters: the businessman, a family member, an employee, and two customers. Don't try to show the whole story -- just give your reader the scene that changes the fate of the business. For example, you could write about a shoe store owner who can't seem to find a single shoe to fit a customer's oddly shaped foot. Maybe a bookstore owner is thrilled when a customer promises to buy the whole store, but then despairs when that customer turns out to have no money.

Writing Assignments: 

The scope of this story collection is January 1794 to March 1798. Do some online research and write a 250 word essay explaining the conflict between France and Britain during this pre-Napoleon time. Google "War of the First Coalition" to get started. Remember to cite your sources at the end of your essay, and if you use any direct quotes, you must put them in quotation marks.


Hornblower toasts to the "confusion of Robespierre." Do some online research and figure out who Robespierre was, what his role was in the French Revolution, and why he would be an enemy of England. Write a 250 word essay explaining his importance to the historical events of this time. Remember to cite your sources at the end of your essay, and if you use any direct quotes, you must put them in quotation marks.


1. What Channel is referenced in the first line of the first story, and what two countries does it separate?
2. From the description we are given, what does Horatio Hornblower look like?
3. What is Hornblower's birthday?
4. Try to understand this vocabulary from context if you can. What are "toadies and lickspittles"?
5. Where is the Bay of Biscay?
6. What does the French word émigré mean?
7. Name one mistake that Hornblower makes in "Hornblower and the Cargo of Rice."
8. Give a quote that illustrates Hornblower's mental state in "Hornblower and the Penalty of Failure."
9. What does Hornblower learn of the history of the Pique, from studying the layout of her decks?
10. Why does Hornblower decide not to tell Pellew of what he did to destroy the Pique?

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