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. At what location does Chapter 1 begin?

2. What are the two leaders of the Andrados force doing when they talk to Sharpe?

3. What does the rocket battalion have that Sharpe needs?

4. What happens as the British forces are scrambling over the castle's outer walls?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Where and at what time is the Prologue set?

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

4. What are the first actions Sharpe takes after the war council?

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

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

7. What does Farthingdale do when he is injured and what does Sharpe see after he does it?

8. What does Sharpe capture first at the castle and how does he do it?

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

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

Essay 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

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 3

In any book centered around the military, leadership of the troops is often crucial with the better leaders able to command the respect and loyalty of their men. The men's willingness to follow a particularly leader can have a decisive impact upon the success of a mission. Discuss the following:

1. Whose command style seems most effective? Analyze the elements of those effective leaders thoroughly and discuss the traits of the good leaders. What makes an excellent leader/commander? Give examples.

2. Whose command style seems most ineffective? Analyze the elements of those ineffective leaders thoroughly and discuss the traits of the poor leaders. What makes a poor leader/commander? Give examples.

3. Is disobeying a poor leader ever justifiable? Explain using details from the text, other books you have read and your personal experience. In times of war, disobeying an order can be punishable by death. Is this harsh sentence justifiable for such an act? Why or why not.

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