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 and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Sharpe give to Dubreton?

2. On the day after Christmas how do the convent and the castle appear to the French?

3. What type of casualties do the French take from their second attack on the castle?

4. To what person is Hakeswill devoted?

5. Who surprises Sharpe with a visit?

Essay 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

Cornwell has tried as much as possible to use historical events and facts around which to weave his work of fiction. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think Sharpe's Enemy qualifies as an historical fiction? Why or why not?

2. If much of the events in Sharpe's Enemy are historical, what surprises you about the way the events play out?

3. Do you think the culture of that era is more or less advanced than you imagined? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

Richard Sharpe is in some ways a larger-than-life hero. Despite incredible odds, he usually comes out on top, in Sharpe's Enemy and in the others in the series. Discuss the following:

1. Does having a larger-than-life hero make that person less of a hero? In other words, which is more admirable--a hero who ultimately always "lands on his feet," or one who strives against impossible odds and doesn't always succeed?

2. Does a character have to be successful in order to be a hero? Explain your answer.

3. Choose one other character besides Sharpe who you might call a hero/heroine and explain why you choose that person. Illustrate your statements with examples from the text.

4. Does every work of fiction have to have a hero? Explain your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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