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. Why did Sharpe go to France in Sharp's Ransom?

2. Where does Picard send the voltiguers?

3. Why is Caillou furious?

4. When does Sharpe estimate the French will arrive?

5. To whom is the telescope inscribed through which Sharpe is looking?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Sharpe order when the French send in the voltiguers, and what does Sharpe's order tell the French?

2. What are Sharpe and Harper attempting to do for Christmas at the beginning of the story? How is their task interrupted?

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

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

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

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

7. With what types of troubles is Gudin plagued?

8. Why does Sharpe have hope the garrison will surrender, and what does the garrison have that Sharpe would like to take?

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

10. What does Sharpe and d'Alembord see through Sharpe's telescope?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sharpe's Christmas, like many, and perhaps a majority, of stories ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think most people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Sharpe's Christmas and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Sharpe's Christmas is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Sharpe's Christmas is one story in a series of novels involving Richard Sharpe. Discuss the following.

1. What are two advantages of writing a series of novels about the same characters? Illustrate your statements with details from the text.

2. What is a disadvantage of writing a series of novels about the same characters? Illustrate your statements with details from the text.

3. Do you prefer to read a standalone book or a series of books with the same main characters? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 3

There are a number of "villains" in Sharpe's Christmas. Ducos, Juanita de Elia, Father Sarsfield, and Loup.

1. Explain, with examples from the text, what you see as the main motivations behind Caillou's behavior. If he lived in America today, with what crimes do you think he would be charged?

2. Picard is a "villain" who does not seem to be motivated by self-interest. Discuss why or why not you believe this statement to be true. Use examples from Sharpe's Christmas to support and illustrate your opinion.

3. Do you think crimes or immoral behavior motivated by good intentions is more pardonable than that motivated by self-interests? Why or why not? Use examples from Sharpe's Christmas to support and illustrate your opinion.

(see the answer keys)

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