Beside the Ocean of Time 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. Where does Sir James MacTavish purchase the horse Seamus?

2. When are the brochs first built in the Orkney islands?

3. What do the Norweigan sailors look like?

4. Who does Jacob Olafson bring back with him to Norday Island?

5. What happens when the Sea King ship is sighted?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Thorfinn and his father are in the smithy, the men are talking politics. What point of view does MacTavish take?

2. What are some of the things that village people buy at Isa Estquoy's shop on Norday Island?

3. When Thorfinn drifts back into time, at the side of the broch ruin, how far back does he go and where is he?

4. What does the title of chapter 3 refer to?

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

6. When Sir James MacTavish is on his way to the battle of Bannockburn he meets a herdsman. What has the herdsman never heard of?

7. Why did the broch on Norday island become a ruin?

8. Why does the author call the gathering at the Norday blacksmith shop "the village parliament?"

9. In the Song of the Broch, how does Thorfinn describe the sheltering castle?

10. What brings Jacob Olafson's wife Rena out of her fearful, furtive ways and back into life?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a detailed character study of Jacob Olafson. Why is he in the book? What does he represent in terms of Thorfinn's journey? What is he representative of in terms of the book and its overall theme?

Essay Topic 2

Make a list of all the imaginative stories. What is the place of Thorfinn in each? How does his fictional character evolve? What does he learn (briefly) from each dream adventure?

Essay Topic 3

Why do Sophie and Thorfinn return to the barren community of Norday Island? What does their return represent? What is George Makay Brown's message in their return? What is the place of the artist in the world?

(see the answer keys)

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