Sharpe's Siege: Richard Sharpe and the Winter Campaign, 1814 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 type of passage does the bridge afford?

2. What do the remaining rifles and Marines do while Killick's longboats shuttle men to his ship?

3. Where does Killick set Sharpe's men ashore?

4. What happens to the French as they put the fascines in place?

5. What do the Facture town authorities try to do?

Short Essay Questions

1. What finally sets up a French assault for the next day?

2. What do Sharpe and his men do to prepare for the French forces marching on them at the fortress? What information does Killick give them?

3. What does Bampfylde do about Killick's ship and how does that turn out?

4. What is the first town to which Sharpe and his men come and what is there?

5. What do both Calvet and Sharpe realize about the assaults on the fortress and how it will end.

6. What does colonel Favier ask Sharpe and what is his reply?

7. What is going on that favors the British and why does it favor them?

8. What happens when Sharpe sees de Maquerre?

9. Who joins Sharpe and why?

10. Describe the bridge that the British built.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The technical discussion of the fortress' construction is interesting and precise, though the large amount of jargon makes an appreciation of the fortress' strength difficult to assess without reference to a military dictionary. However, a full understanding of the layout is not necessary to the novel. Instead, the general feeling that the fortress is well-designed and difficult to penetrate is sufficient. Choose one of the following to answer in detail:

1. Did you find the technical data to be easy to understand in the way in which the author presented it? Why or why not? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. In what ways did the amount of description and technical data on the fortress add to and subtract from the experience of reading the book? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. If the last sentence above is true and a full layout was not necessary, why do you think the author wrote so much detail into the book? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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 Siege. 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 Siege 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 will 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 3

Sharpe weighs various factors in trying to decide what to do about Killick and decides that he cannot simply leave Killick behind, knowing full well that as soon as Sharpe is out of sight, Bampfylde will begin hanging the Americans. He is also haunted by the specter of Jane's death and involves himself in some superstitious speculation; Killick's yarn about sailors being hung in still air sends chills down Sharpe's spine and he somehow illogically conflates the story with Jane's survival. Sharpe comes to the conclusion that sparing Killick somehow guarantees Jane's survival. Discuss the following:

1. What is superstition? Can you name a few common superstitions? Do any of them seem to have any validity in logic? How do you think a superstition gets started? Continues?

2. Why do you think soldiers have the reputation for being superstitious? Do you think it is true? What superstitions are mentioned in Sharpe's Siege? Do you think superstitions help a person emotionally or psychologically when that person's life is in danger constantly such as a soldier at war? Do you think people are more superstitious during the era of Sharpe's Siege than they are now? Why or why not?

3. Do you believe any superstitions? What are they? Why? Have you ever found yourself unconsciously associating the outcome of something with something else happening that is totally unrelated? Discuss a couple of those times. How do you start associating one event with the other?

(see the answer keys)

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