Sharpe's Enemy: Richard Sharpe and the Defense of Portugal, Christmas 1812 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 lies on either side of the road that runs out of the pass?

2. What does Josefina say about Lord Farthingdale and her past?

3. What do the two leaders of the Andrados force attempt to do with Sharpe and his companions?

4. With whom is Spain at war during this novel?

5. What does Nairn tell Sharpe at the beginning of Chapter 3?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who are the men Sharpe and Harper see first at Andrados and why are they there?

2. What does Sharpe urge Farthingdale to do and what does he do? What do the defenders do?

3. Where and at what time is the Prologue set?

4. What does Nairn decide about Andrados and what does Sharpe do?

5. What happens to the British forces as they scramble over the castle walls?

6. What is happening in Andrados at the beginning of the novel and who is doing it?

7. Who does Sharpe meet who is head of the rifle company going to Andrados, what is that man like and how does Sharpe feel about him?

8. Who is Spain at war with and how is the country divided?

9. What happens to the gold Sharpe brought with him and what kind of reassurance does Pot-au-Feu give? What do the men learn from that reassurance?

10. How does Farthingdale act towards Sharpe when he returns without the woman?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Sharpe and Dubreton present their gold to Pot-au-Fea and Hakeswill the men take the gold but refuse to release the woman. There is some inconsistency in this situation as Sharpe and Hakeswill's last confrontation in another book would definitely preclude Hakeswill inviting Sharpe to join them. Also, the fact that Pot-au-Fea and Hakeswill allow the four men to leave is inconsistent with their characterization. These two items are necessary for the plot but they are more of a narrative contrivance than believable.

1. With research, define narrative contrivance and how it is used in several places in Sharpe's Enemy. Do you think the plot could have been satisfied without it? Why or why not? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Do you think narrative contrivances detract from Sharpe's Enemy by placing too much reliance on readers' gullibility? Why or why not? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. When you read of the two contrivances above, did it stop you and make you pause in your reading to consider Hakeswill allowing Sharpe, his sworn enemy to leave? What do you think, in real life would have happened to Sharpe? Why?

Essay Topic 2

Though this novel is probably more action driven rather than character driven, obviously there are several characters who make the novel what it is. Discuss one of the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Sharpe and Ducos. Include their goals, sense of honor, abilities and social skills.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Harper and Hakeswill.

3. Thoroughly analyze the character of Richard Sharpe discussing both his strong and weak points and how both affect the outcome of the plot.

Essay Topic 3

Most of the entire series of novels concerning Richard Sharpe takes place during the Napoleonic Wars; therefore understanding the political and social situation during that time helps to a greater understanding and appreciation of this book and others in the series. Discuss one of the following:

1. Research and write an expository essay about how the Napoleonic Wars begin and end.

2. Research and write an expository essay about the battles that take place on land between Britain and France during the Napoleonic Wars.

3. Compare/Contrast the importance of the British infantry during the Napoleonic Wars to the importance of the British infantry during either WWI or WWII.

4. Write an expository essay on how the Napoleonic War affects the social culture of one of the following countries: Britian, France, or Germany.

(see the answer keys)

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