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 Farthingdale seem to be oblivious about?

2. To what person is Hakeswill devoted?

3. What kind of military leader is Farthingdale?

4. What does Pot-au-Fea so when Sharpe reaches the castle?

5. What does Sharpe do when the French are fifty yards from the trench?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What are the first actions Sharpe takes after the war council?

3. How do the French respond after the first two attacks?

4. What does Hakeswill do during the battle and after the French are repulsed?

5. What happens at the convent after the British abandon it?

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

7. What happens to Hakeswill when the French arrive?

8. What does Sharpe capture first at the castle and how does he do it?

9. What unit shows up after the castle is taken and what does Sharpe do with them?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Though this novel is probably more action driven rather than character driven, obviously there are several characters who make the novel what it is. Discuss one of the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Sharpe and Ducos. Include their goals, sense of honor, abilities and social skills.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Harper and Hakeswill.

3. Thoroughly analyze the character of Richard Sharpe discussing both his strong and weak points and how both affect the outcome of the plot.

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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