Sharpe's Enemy: Richard Sharpe and the Defense of Portugal, Christmas 1812 Test | Final 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 Sharpe demand from Ducos?

2. How do many of Pot-au-Fea's men escape?

3. How did Teresa die?

4. What does Sharpe insist on with Farthingdale?

5. How does Pierre Ducos appear to Sharpe?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who does Shapre meet from the French forces and how does that meeting go? How do the French feel about the British?

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

3. Why doesn't the French take the castle?

4. What do the British leaders do on Christmas?

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

6. How does Sharpe react to Farthingdale's announcement and what does he do about it?

7. What happens to the convent due to Harper's actions?

8. What happens when Farthingdale comes outside and what interests him about the French?

9. What does the French agree to and why does Sharpe agree to it?

10. How many forces does Sharpe estimate are arrayed between the French and the British soldiers?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the main characteristics of Hakeswill is that he seems to like to inflict pain on others. He is absolutely amoral and spends most of his time thieving, raping, and dreaming of murdering those who he dislikes, which is just about everyone.

1. Unfortunately there are a number of people in the world who seem to like to inflict pain on themselves or others. Following research on sadism, discuss why Hakeswill is a sadist with examples from the book.

2. There is obviously deep seated psychological reasons why someone would derive pleasure from pain, either their own pain or someone else. Is it possible that people who feel this way have some common factors in childhood? Discuss reasons from a childhood you think could form a person to become a sadist.

3. There is great debate in criminal justice circles as to whether someone who commits homicide is mentally ill. Some say anyone who kills another human being except in self defense has to be mentally ill because sane people don't kill other people. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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