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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 does Ducos feel towards Helene?
2. What do the Spanish think about Sharpe being sentenced to hanging?
3. What is Sharpe given before he leaves the prison?
4. Where does Sharpe find Helene?
5. What does Father Hacha tell the Marques about the outcome of the duel?
Short Essay Questions
1. How do Sharpe and Angel get past the ambush with La Marquesa?
2. What do the British do when they arrive at Vitoria and how do they feel about what they are facing?
3. What do Sharpe and Harper discover about Helene and what do they do?
4. Why is Angel helping Sharpe and what kind of weapon does he carry?
5. What evidence does Major Vaughn use against Sharpe and what does he say is Sharpe's motivation? How does Sharpe respond to the Major's suppositions?
6. What is the Marques and Father Hacha discussing in Chapter Five? What does the Marques say about his wife?
7. Who does Sharpe think of when leading the troops and what does he do with the troops?
8. Why is el Matarife at an inn near the Convent of the Heavens and what does he do about Wellington's request?
9. What do the British cavalry do at Vitoria and how does Jourdan respond? What does Jourdan think of the French prospects at Vitoria?
10. Why is La Marquesa angry in Chapter Eight and what happens in her encounter with Hacha?
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. He has been told if he gives his parole he will not be guarded yet he cannot accede to that. 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 has begun an affair with Helene, a woman recently widowed and who has participated in setting Sharpe up to be convicted of murder. 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
Sharpe's demons have caught up with him: his single irresponsible act will potentially cause disgrace, dishonor, and death. Sharpe and those closest to him are convinced of his innocence, but the Spanish must be compensated for the death of their general. Though Sharpe is innocent, not to mention a hero to the British and his battalion, he becomes the scapegoat needed to assuage hurt Spanish pride.
1. What do you think are the demons which have caught up to Sharpe? Are his demons a part of his character and personality? Why or why not? Which of his "demons" do you think Sharpe would be better off to get rid of and which might be good to have?
2. Do you think innocent people are convicted of crimes? Why or why not? Discuss at least one situation in present time when an innocent person may have been used as a scapegoat.
3. Explain the difference in gathering evidence between that of Sharpe's time and in modern America. Explain why the outcome of Sharpe's trial would probably been different in the present time.
Essay Topic 3
Cornwell has tried as much as possible to use historical events and facts around which to weave his work of fiction. Discuss the following:
1. Do you think this book qualifies as an historical fiction? Why or why not?
2. If much of the events in the book are historical, what surprises you about the way the events play out?
3. Do you think the culture of that era is more or less advanced than you imagined? Explain.
This section contains 3,528 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)