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 kind of wound does Farthingdale receive?

2. How does Farthingdale feel about Sharpe's inability to bring back Lady Farthingdale?

3. What type of terrain does Sharpe have to cross to get to Andrados?

4. Why does the Colonel keep Lady Farthingdale safe?

5. What is Sharpe supposed to do with the troops to which he has been assigned?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Sharpe deploy the rocket artillery and what is the result of the use of them?

3. What unit shows up after the castle is taken and what does Sharpe do with them?

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

5. Why doesn't the French take the castle?

6. What happens to Sharpe and the three others in the convent shortly after they meet?

7. How many forces does Sharpe estimate are arrayed between the French and the British soldiers?

8. What happens when Farthingdale comes outside and what interests him about the French?

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Farthingdale is wealthy, educated, and titled, yet he is also militarily ignorant and is so haughty that he fails to recognize his own limitations. Sharpe is not wealthy, not educated, and not titled, though he knows the ins and outs of combat and knows how to lead soldiers. Farthingdale makes several mistakes, some catastrophic, while Sharpe works behind the scenes to keep the attack together.

1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a system of nobility in a country, especially how it applies to the military. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. The class separations in the era of Sharpe's Enemy are very distinct and the upper class is basically impenetrable to the lower class. Discuss the implications of Sharpe, the son of a prostitute being able to obtain the rank of major and the possible ramifications he might have to deal with when interacting with officers who come from a much higher class.

3. Often in this series of novels the upper class officers are presented as incompetent, at best, and dangerous uncaring at worse. What might that portrayal suggest about how the author might feel about wealthy people and the positions they hold in society, whether qualified or not? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

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.

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