Beside the Ocean of Time Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why does the school teacher, Mr. Simon, have trouble paying for his groceries at the village shop in Norday?

Mr. Simon is divorced and has to support his wife and three children who live in Glasgow. He has a job with the school, so the shopkeeper isn't too worried. She plans to contact the school authorities in Edinburgh if he doesn't pay by the end of the month.

2. Why does Isa Estquoy know more than the minister and doctor about the community of Norday?

Everyone comes into the post office and shop to conduct their daily business. While they are there they share news they have heard or have to share about themselves and Isa, as shopkeeper, listens.

3. What is the general opinion of Thorfinn in the village of Norday?

Thorfinn is thought to be a child who does not pay attention in school, or anywhere else. He is a dreamer. Isa notes, however, that he is a good child, not a scoundrel or thief. The main problem is that he isn't useful. He doesn't farm or fish, and in the Norday society, everyone needs to have a use.

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