Sharpe's Skirmish 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. What did the sacrifice at Avila do?

2. Who is Arthur Wellesley?

3. What does Sharpe tell Hickey when it is obvious Hickey is afraid?

4. What will the men Soult sends North do?

5. What does Tubbs not believe?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Major Tubbs supervising and what is his mission?

2. What does Harper say about Major Tubbs when asked by Sharpe?

3. What does Harper admit about the bottles of wine he was tasked with destroying?

4. About what are Sharp's men objecting and why do they stop complaining?

5. How does one of the people eating together in the mess offend Sharpe, and who steps in and has his own opinion about the topic?

6. What does Sharpe order Lieutenant Price to do and why?

7. Briefly characterize Captain Richard Sharpe.

8. What is Major Tubbs' response to hearing the French may come to San Miguel and what does Sharpe say to Tubbs?

9. How do Sharpe and Teresa disagree about Sharpe's handling of Ensign Hickey?

10. Describe the situation with the wine that is found in the fort at San Miguel.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Define irony in literary terms. Discuss the irony of the situation of when Major Tubbs is disparaging of Sharpe because he rose through the ranks and is not a "gentleman" born, but it is Major Tubbs who plans to defraud his country by selling off rifles that are perfectly good and pocketing the money. What other situations contain irony in "Sharpe's Skirmish"?

2. Define symbolism in literary terms. Discuss the use and meaning of five symbols you choose to analyze from Sharpe's Skirmish. What do they symbolize? Is the symbolism obvious? Effective? Does the symbolism contribute to the enjoyment of reading?

3. Discuss five literary devices that occur in "Sharpe's Skirmish" and how they are used. Are they effective? Do they add or detract from the reading of the book? Why or why not. Some possible techniques: Allusion, connotation, denouement, dialogue, flashback, figurative language, motif, metaphor, narrator, point of view, simile, mood, and puns.

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 among the leaders--Sharpe, Harper, Price, Paillertie, Herault? 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 most ineffective among the leaders--Sharpe, Harper, Price, Paillertie, Herault? 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

Most protagonists are a mixture of admirable traits and character flaws, and Richard Sharpe is no exception.

1. Trace and analyze situations when Sharpe demonstrates his admirable traits. Give specific examples to illustrate your analysis.

2. Trace and analyze Sharpe's character flaws, and explain how the flaws create more complex and believable characters. How do you think either man's character flaws make some situations more difficult for him?

3. After analyzing Sharpe's strengths and weaknesses, decide if Sharpe is an appropriate "hero" of the story. Is there anyone else who might be a more admirable "hero"?

4. Answer the above questions for one other person you think could be considered a hero in "Sharpe's Skirmish".

(see the answer keys)

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