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. Who wins the fight at the gatehouse?

2. What does Sharpe give to Dubreton?

3. What does the French do the day after the convent is destroyed?

4. What do the French do when they capture the convent?

5. What does Sharpe realize about the French?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Hakeswill's ultimate fate?

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

3. What do the French ask for after the British rocket attack?

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

5. What do Sharpe and Harper do when the British attack is faltering?

6. What do the French do the day after they take the convent? How does Sharpe view his situation?

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

8. What happens to the first two French attacks?

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

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

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

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 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze one major theme of Sharpe's Enemy. Consider the following: How does one character's actions portray the theme you are analyzing? How does the setting contribute to that theme? Is the theme one that you would call a "universal theme"? If so, what other book or novel that you have read also includes this theme. If not, why don't you think it is a "universal" theme?

2. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of Sharpe's Enemy. How does one character's actions portray the themes you are analyzing? How does the setting contribute to those themes? Is each theme one that you would call a "universal theme"? If so, what other book or novel that you have read also includes this theme. If not, why don't you think it is a "universal" theme?

3. What benefit is there in discussing and analyzing the themes of a work of fiction? Do you think most authors consciously develop themes in their works? Why or why not? Can there be accidental themes? What do you think is one possible "accidental" theme in Sharpe's Enemy? Which theme in Sharpe's Enemy speaks to you the most in your life? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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