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 begins to arrive after Sharpe and his group have the hostages?

2. What does Sharpe urge to Farthingdale?

3. What does General Nairn use to toast his bread?

4. What does Sharpe discover about Hakeswill after the convent is secured?

5. What does Sharpe receive from the person in question #14?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Sharpe first do when he takes over his new command and to what conclusions does he come?

3. How does Sharpe feel as Farthingdale is getting ready and what do the defenders of the castle do?

4. What does Farthingdale do with his troops as Christmas day breaks?

5. What do Sharpe and Harper do at the convent while negotiating with the leaders of the men there?

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

7. How important is Andrados, where it is situated and what types of protections are in place around it?

8. What type of combat unit has the Prince Regent sent, why has he sent it and how does Nairn feel about it?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the conclusion of a novel, most readers either consciously or unconsciously engage in processing the book 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 Enemy a "good" book? Why or why not? Use examples to illustrate your stance.

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

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

Essay Topic 2

Sharpe, despite his background, is an officer and a gentleman and is therefore accorded more respect and trust even in enemy territory than the common soldier. Discuss the following:

1. Does it seem likely that officers are usually more respectable than enlisted men back then? What about today? Why or why not.

2. Sharpe blackmails Farthingdale about Josefina in order to obtain command of the forces. Do you think this is how an officer and gentleman comports himself? Why or why not?

3. In the present military in the United States, both officers and enlisted can be held for court martial for adultery or having sexual relations with someone of inferior rank. Why do you think this is so? Do you agree with the policy?

Essay Topic 3

Cornwell is masterful in his description of battles and life in general in for a soldier during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1820s. Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze Cornwells's descriptive passages about life as a soldier. How does he use descriptions of the five senses to make the reader feel s/he is there? Do you find his descriptions compelling? Seemingly accurate? How would the novel be different if Cornwell did not include such descriptive passages?

2. Analyze Cornwells's descriptive passages about the social structure of the times and discuss what you think it would be like to be a person of wealth and/or privilege such as Wellington, Lord Farthingdale, Dubreton, and Frederickson. Contrast that to the lives of those who are in a lower social strata such as Sharpe and Harper or one in service to someone of wealth and/or privilege.

3. Describe and analyze Cornwell's descriptive passages about the topographical setting and the physical descriptions of the people. Does Cornwell do an adequate job of actually making the reader "see" the land/sea where the action is taking place? How about getting a visual image of the characters? How does the descriptions of the setting add to the novel? Do you like having an idea of how a character looks? How would the novel be different without such descriptions?

(see the answer keys)

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