Sharpe's Siege: Richard Sharpe and the Winter Campaign, 1814 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. Who does Bampfylde credit in his official report to the Admiralty?

2. What does British intelligence do to the Comte de Maquerre?

3. What does Sharpe do the day after the fort was captured?

4. What does the Commodore decide will be the British's method of attack on his fort?

5. How late does Bampfylde arrive at the fortress?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what state are Napoleon's forces at the beginning of this book?

2. How does Sharpe counter Bampfylde's assertion of command and what does Bampfylde decide to do?

3. What is Sharpe's mission and what does Elphinstone think about it?

4. What surprises Sharpe when they land and why is he surprised and what does Bampfylde do?

5. What kind of shape are Bampfylde and his Marines and how does this affect what they do?

6. What do the various officers Sharpe meets with think about what the British should do?

7. How does Frederickson feel about the treatment of the Americans and what does he do?

8. What do the British decide to do to implement their plan from question # 3?

9. Describe briefly Sharpe's new command.

10. Who joins Sharpe's mission at the last moment, what kind of problems does he cause and why does Sharpe's superiors allow it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Richard Sharpe is in some ways a larger-than-life hero. Despite incredible odds, he usually comes out on top, in this book 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, is a hero who ultimately always "lands on his feet" or one who strives against impossible odds and doesn't always succeed more admirable?

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.

Essay Topic 2

Cornwell is masterful in his description of battles and life in general in for a soldier during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1820s. Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze Cornwells's descriptive passages about life as a soldier. How does he use descriptions of the five senses to make the reader feel s/he is there? Do you find his descriptions compelling? Seemingly accurate? How would the novel be different if Cornwell did not include such descriptive passages?

2. Analyze Cornwells's descriptive passages about the social structure of the times and discuss what you think it would be like to be a person of wealth and/or privilege such as Captain William Bampfyldem, Comte de Maquerre, General Calvet, and Commandant Henri Lassan. Contrast that to the lives of those who are in a lower social strata such as Sharpe and Harper or one in service to someone of wealth and/or privilege.

3. Describe and analyze Cornwell's descriptive passages about the topographical setting and the physical descriptions of the people. Does Cornwell do an adequate job of actually making the reader "see" the land/sea where the action is taking place? How about getting a visual image of the characters? How does the descriptions of the setting add to the novel? Do you like having an idea of how a character looks? How would the novel be different without such descriptions?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 9, the meeting between de Maquerre and Ducos heavily foreshadows future developments. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "foreshadow."

2. What is foreshadowed by the meeting between de Maquerre and Ducos? What are other instances of foreshadowing in the book? What purpose do you think it serves that the author chooses to give "hints" of things to come?

3. Are there times when something seems to be foreshadowed in Sharpe's Siege, but it does not play out in the manner hinted at? Why do you think the author chooses to lead the readers astray? How do you react when something happens in the book of which there is no hint whatsoever earlier? Do readers like to "prepare" themselves for future action in a book? Do you feel "cheated" when a major character whom you have come to enjoy immensely dies or is killed suddenly with no hint that it is going to happen? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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