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 happens to Sharpe and his companions after they pledge to help each other?

2. What is being done to a woman with a hot iron?

3. Who leads the company of mixed rifles going with Sharpe?

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

5. What does Frederickson bring with him when he advances on the convent?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do the British do when they capture the castle and what do some of Pot-au-Fea's men do?

2. Where do the French concentrate their artillery fire and why? What is the British response?

3. Who is spotted in the village that surprises Sharpe?

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

5. What does Farthingdale announce at the council of war?

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

7. Who saves Lady Farthingdale and why does he do it?

8. What does Sharpe arrange the day after the war council?

9. What happens when Dubreton comes up to Sharpe?

10. What do the British do with the last of the rocket artillery?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze one major theme of Sharpe's Enemy. Consider the following: How does one character's actions portray the theme you are analyzing? How does the setting contribute to that theme? Is the theme one that you would call a "universal theme"? If so, what other book or novel that you have read also includes this theme. If not, why don't you think it is a "universal" theme?

2. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of Sharpe's Enemy. How does one character's actions portray the themes you are analyzing? How does the setting contribute to those themes? Is each theme one that you would call a "universal theme"? If so, what other book or novel that you have read also includes this theme. If not, why don't you think it is a "universal" theme?

3. What benefit is there in discussing and analyzing the themes of a work of fiction? Do you think most authors consciously develop themes in their works? Why or why not? Can there be accidental themes? What do you think is one possible "accidental" theme in Sharpe's Enemy? Which theme in Sharpe's Enemy speaks to you the most in your life? Why?

Essay Topic 3

The evidence of murder, torture, and mass rape is throughout the convent. Sharpe watches a woman being tortured by being branded on her breasts with a red-hot iron. The Elsewhere women are systematically tortured in sexually stylistic ways.

1. Present and analyze the treatment of women in Sharpe's Enemy.

2. Cornwell is trying to be historically accurate, so is his treatment of women in his book(s) justified? Why or why not?

3. Is there any way Cornwell could have presented women in a more positive light and still stayed historically accurate? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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