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 Frederickson bring with him when he advances on the convent?

2. What do the men defending the castle do?

3. What is Sharpe supposed to do with the troops to which he has been assigned?

4. Where has Sharpe seen Lady Farthingdale before?

5. Why doesn't Lord Farthingdale marry Josefina?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. How does Sharpe feel as Farthingdale is getting ready and what do the defenders of the castle 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. Who saves Lady Farthingdale and why does he do it?

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

7. Before whom is Sharpe summoned in Chapter one, what is that man like and why is he summoned?

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

9. What type of combat unit has the Prince Regent sent, why has he sent it and how does Nairn feel about it?

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

Sharpe's Enemy, like many, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note (until he arrives back home). Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why? not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Sharpe's Enemy and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Sharpe's Enemy is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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