Sharpe's Gold: Richard Sharpe and the Destruction of Almeida, August 1810 Test | Mid-Book 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. How is the morale of the forces aligned against Napoleon?

2. What does Kearsey think he is doing?

3. Who is El Catolico marrying?

4. What does Sharpe admit to Wellington?

5. How does Kearsey fall off his horse?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Sharpe's discussion with Wellington.

2. Describe the scene when Sharpe apologizes to Ayres.

3. Why is Harper proud and how much of his discovery is there?

4. Describe Sharpe and Moreno's conversation.

5. How does Sharpe threaten El Catolico's men?

6. What does Sharpe decide to do based upon what Harper tells him?

7. Who does not agree with most of the others, but why is that not obvious?

8. What sort of guide is Kearsey and why do the men find him annoying?

9. Who is Cox and what does Sharpe learn from him?

10. Why are Sharpe's men angry and sad as they enter the village?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The military way of life is in and of itself similar to a distinct culture. Understanding how the military is organized, how it operates, and its basic rules of conduct will make any novel that centers on the military more understandable and enjoyable. Discuss one of the following:

1. Describe and analyze the military structure during the time of Sharpe's Gold. What is rank? What is the difference between officers and enlisted men? How serious is it to disobey an order? What happens if one decides he does not like being in the military and walks away? How are men conscripted? Does the infantry have a similar means of augmenting their ranks as the maritime action called "impressments"?

2. Compare the infantry of Sharpe's Gold to that in modern times in for the United States, England or France. What are the similarities? The differences? Are the changes from those times improvements? Why or why not? (This question may require some research).

3. Discuss why you think the military has the following: Uniforms, a rank structure of Officers and Enlisted, Strict Discipline, Training for New Recruits, Court Martial, and Different types of companies (i.e., rifle, Cavalry, artillery, etc). Discuss why you think men (and nowadays women) choose to become professional soldiers.

Essay Topic 2

In any book centered around the military, leadership of the troops is often crucial with the better leaders able to command the respect and loyalty of their men. The men's willingness to follow a particularly leader can have a decisive impact upon the success of a mission. Discuss the following:

1. Whose command style seems most effective? Analyze the elements of those effective leaders thoroughly and discuss the traits of the good leaders. What makes an excellent leader/commander? Give examples.

2. Whose command style seems least effective? Analyze the elements of those ineffective leaders thoroughly and discuss the traits of the poor leaders. What makes a poor leader/commander? Give examples.

3. Is disobeying a poor leader ever justifiable? Explain using details from the text, other books you have read and your personal experience. In times of war, disobeying an order can be punishable by death. Is this harsh sentence justifiable for such an act? Why or why not.

Essay Topic 3

Sharpe's Gold, like many, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy 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 Gold and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Sharpe's Gold is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. State what you think are three characteristics of a successful novel and whether or not Sharpe's Gold in your opinion is a successful novel.

(see the answer keys)

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