Sharpe's Skirmish 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 looks like a makeshift caltrops?

2. Of what nationality are the lancers of the French army?

3. Why does Coignet raise an alarm?

4. Who does Sharpe push into the water?

5. What is the most dangerous time for soldiers on alert?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Sharpe do with MacKeon's suggestion?

2. How does Sharpe attempt to sabotage the fort?

3. Why is Sharpe uncertain about how to keep the bridge?

4. How is Sharpe feeling at the opening of this section?

5. Who raises the alarm about the fire and what do they do?

6. Why is Sharpe now grateful for Harper's earlier disobedience about the wine?

7. What does Sharpe order Harper, Cooper and Perkins to do?

8. In what way are both Sharpe and Pailleterie furious at the other group?

9. What does Sharpe do after sabotaging the fort?

10. What strategy does Herault choose to fight Sharpe and his men?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Cornwell is masterful in his description of battles and life in general in for a soldier during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s. Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze Cornwell'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 Cornwell'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 Major Tubbs or Ducos. 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 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

Usually the women in this series are in the background to the men and tend to fit a stereotype of women in this era of history. This book has a different type of woman, Teresa Sharp, who is strong enough to lead a group of rebels in skirmishes against the French.

1. Present and analyze the treatment of Teresa Sharp. Is her character believable? Is it believable that a group of men during that era would follow her as a soldier leader? What traits does Teresa possess that makes her a good leader? A weak leader?

2. Discuss Sharpe's attitude towards his wife both as a woman and as a soldier. Does he approve of her role leading soldiers? Do you think the fact that Sharpe is from the lower class makes him more accepting or less accepting of his wife's role in the war?

3. Discuss 3 other men's attitude towards Teresa Sharpe. Do they approve or disapprove of her? Do they like her? Do they see her as a woman?

(see the answer keys)

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