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 does Sharpe do with the convent?

2. Why was the troop Sharpe is now commanding sent there by the person in question #20?

3. What does Nairn decide about Sharpe's information?

4. What kind of weapon does Sharpe find in the basement?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Frederickson shows up at the convent?

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

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

4. Why is Lady Farthingdale at Andrados, who is with her and what happens to them?

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

6. What do Pot-au-Feu and Hakeswill suggest to Sharpe and the others and what are they doing while they talk?

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

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 does Nairn tell Sharpe when he is summoned in Chapter 3?

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

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

One of the main characteristics of Hakeswill is that he seems to like to inflict pain on others. He is absolutely amoral and spends most of his time thieving, raping, and dreaming of murdering those who he dislikes, which is just about everyone.

1. Unfortunately there are a number of people in the world who seem to like to inflict pain on themselves or others. Following research on sadism, discuss why Hakeswill is a sadist with examples from the book.

2. There is obviously deep seated psychological reasons why someone would derive pleasure from pain, either their own pain or someone else. Is it possible that people who feel this way have some common factors in childhood? Discuss reasons from a childhood you think could form a person to become a sadist.

3. There is great debate in criminal justice circles as to whether someone who commits homicide is mentally ill. Some say anyone who kills another human being except in self defense has to be mentally ill because sane people don't kill other people. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Most protagonists are a mixture of admirable traits and character flaws, and Richard Sharpe is no exception. Sharpes legendary powers of military strategy is juxtaposed with his reputation as a womanzier. Discuss the following:

1. Trace and analyze situations when Sharpe demonstrates his prodigious powers of military strategy. Give specific examples to illustrate your analysis.

2. Trace and analyze Sharpe's character flaws offering specific examples of these flaws in your discussion.

3. Discuss how you think Sharpe's admirable traits helped him obtain a high rank in the military despite his background as a child. Have his flaws impacted his career at all? Do any of those under his command seem to notice these flaws? Who? How does the reader know this?

(see the answer keys)

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