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 the soldiers who accompany Lady Farthingdale?

2. What do the two leaders of the Andrados force attempt to do with Sharpe and his companions?

3. What are the soldiers doing while Sharpe surveys the convent?

4. What does Nairn give Sharpe to take to Andrados?

5. Why doesn't Lord Farthingdale marry Josefina?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What do Sharpe and Harper notice about the basement in the convent?

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

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. What happens to the gold Sharpe brought with him and what kind of reassurance does Pot-au-Feu give? What do the men learn from that reassurance?

6. What does Lord Farthingdale do when he arrives and what puzzles Sharpe about the situation?

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

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

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

10. What does Sharpe and Harper do when they first arrive at Andrados?

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

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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