Master and Commander Discussion Questions Ch. 4

Actual footage of the APG forcing their friends to read the Aubreyad! For their own good (and the good of the service) of course.

Upon first starting this website I also started something I called The Aubreyad Press Gang to do a group read of the series. We got through the first and second novels before the project fell by the wayside, but the discussion questions remain. Perhaps someday the APG will set sail once more…


April 26, 2010 – May 2, 2010
The Aubreyad Press Gang Epic Adventure Week Two

1. Several times prior to this chapter, Patrick O’Brian makes reference to the “Olympian majesty” of a captain. In this chapter, Stephen finds himself enveloped in it and compares it in a not-disagreeable way to “walking death”. Why is their such a division between captain and crew? How does it effect Jack? How does it effect Stephen, and his relationship with Jack?

2. Stephen asks Jack if the Master could have him whipped, a question which shocks Jack with its seeming ignorance (though he handles it with grace). What is the author’s motivation to portray Stephen as so ignorant with naval matters? What does it say about Stephen’s character, and what does Jack’s treatment of him say about Jack’s and their relationship?

3. During the Sophie’s chase with the pirate, there is a moment where Jack has to choose between continuing to pursue his prize and returning to protect the Dutch cat. What choice does he make and why? What does it say about his character?

4. Jack tells Stephen about his experience being “turned before the mast” and claims it helped him understand the lower deck (the common sailors) much better. How might this enhance his ability to command? Have we seen any examples of the influence of that knowledge thus far?

Questions by your captain.

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