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 hope to do after the first French attack?

2. What happens after the French are repulsed from the castle the first time?

3. What does Sharpe begin to do after the French are spotted?

4. What type of attack does the French commander favor?

5. Where are the French packed into during their last attack?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What happens to Hakeswill when the French arrive?

3. What do the British leaders do on Christmas?

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

5. What happens when Dubreton comes up to Sharpe?

6. What does Farthingdale announce at the council of war?

7. How does Sharpe deploy the rocket artillery and what is the result of the use of them?

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

9. What happens to the first two French attacks?

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

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

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

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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