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. Where does Sharpe go when he arrives at Andrados?

2. What day is it when Sharpe has secured the convent?

3. What does Pot-au-Feu allow for the hostage women?

4. What does the Chaplain General ask Nairn to do?

5. Who finally arrives after Josefina speaks to Sharpe?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. 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?

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

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

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

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

9. What does Lady Farthingdale do when she sees Sharpe?

10. What is in the fortress near Andrados?

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

The military way of life is in and of itself similar to a distinct culture. Understanding how the military is organized, how it operates, and its basic rules of conduct will make any novel that centers on the military more understandable and enjoyable. Discuss one of the following:

1. Describe and analyze the military structure during the time of Sharpe's Enemy. What is rank? What is the difference between officers and enlisted men? How serious is it to disobey an order? What happens if one decides he does not like being in the military and walks away? How are men conscripted? Does the infantry have a similar means of augmenting their ranks as the maritime action called "impressments"?

2. Compare the infantry of Sharpe's Enemy to that in modern times in for the United States, England or France. What are the similarities? The differences? Are the changes from those times improvements? Why or why not? (This question will require some research).

3. Discuss why you think the military has the following: Uniforms, a rank structure of Officers and Enlisted, Strict Discipline, Training for New Recruits, Court Martial, and Different types of companies (i.e., rifle, Cavalry, artillery, etc). Discuss why you think men (and nowadays women) choose to become professional soldiers.

(see the answer keys)

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