Sharpe's Christmas 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 does Cornwell say he never expected?

2. Who shoots Nicholls?

3. What does Sharpe order Smith to do?

4. Whose garrison must Picard rescue?

5. Why does Sharpe have his men stationed fifty paces back from the frontier?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Harper think about the British coming into conflict with the French? What does Sharpe think about it? Why?

2. What finally breaks up the French brigade's advance?

3. Where does Sharpe send his skirmishers? What is the result?

4. What does Cornwell say about the people who helped him write Sharpe's Christmas? What else does he address in the introduction?

5. What does Gudin think about when he thinks of India?

6. What does Hogan tell Sharpe will be his immediate assignment?

7. What does Caillou do to keep Gudin from meeting with the British truce?

8. How does Gudin feel about leaving the fort at Ochagavia, and what is the group composed of who will be leaving the fort?

9. What is Gudin told about Maria and what is his response?

10. How does Nicholls feel about Sharpe and Harper? What does he ask them? What is Sharpe's response?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sharpe says repeatedly in the first short story that Christmas is no time for killing. Traditionally, throughout the history of war since the advent of Christianity a truce for Christmas has been enacted between two "Christian" nations who are at war and in fact, there are many incidences of enemies eating or drinking together on Christmas day then shooting at each other the day after.

1. Discuss the incongruous of enacting a truce for one day then reverting to killing in a mere 24 hours. Use examples from your life and the text to support your answer.

2. What do you think are the necessary psychological change for a person to eat Christmas dinner with another who will be attempting to kill that person the next day? Use examples from your life and the text to support your answer.

3. Discuss the implications for hope of an end to war if enemies can be civil on Christmas Day. Use examples from your life and the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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 Sharpe's Christmas.

2. Identify where the parts of the plot seem to fall in Sharpe's Christmas. Explain using examples.

3. Define the literary term "subplot." Write a sentence or two synopsis of a subplot in Sharpe's Christmas.

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?

Essay Topic 3

At the conclusion of a story, most readers either consciously or unconsciously engage in processing the story and usually come to a conclusion as to whether they like the book or not. Discuss one of the following:

1. Would you consider Sharpe's Christmas a "good" story? Why or why not? Use examples to illustrate your stance.

2. What do you think are the elements of an outstanding story? Analyze one of your favorite stories to see if those elements are present.

3. What are some reasons you might consider a story a failure? Analyze a story you think is a failure and see if those elements are in that novel.

(see the answer keys)

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