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 do Sharpe and Harper do when they see the British attack faltering?

2. Of what does much of the talk between the French and the British consist?

3. What does Farthingdale wonder about the French?

4. In Chapter 22 what kind of French force advances on the castle?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Sharpe, despite his background, is an officer and a gentleman and is therefore accorded more respect and trust even in enemy territory than the common soldier. Discuss the following:

1. Does it seem likely that officers are usually more respectable than enlisted men back then? What about today? Why or why not.

2. Sharpe blackmails Farthingdale about Josefina in order to obtain command of the forces. Do you think this is how an officer and gentleman comports himself? Why or why not?

3. In the present military in the United States, both officers and enlisted can be held for court martial for adultery or having sexual relations with someone of inferior rank. Why do you think this is so? Do you agree with the policy?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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