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 escapes that upsets Sharpe?

2. From what country is Harper?

3. What do the French think about Sharpe's forces?

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

5. Where is the majority of Sharpe's forces concentrated?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. What do the British leaders do on Christmas?

9. What do the British do with the last of the rocket artillery?

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

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

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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