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. What happens when the Sea King ship is sighted?

2. What instrument does the boy poet of the broch play?

3. Why does Will Olafson need help on the croft?

4. What do the Norweigan sailors look like?

5. What is the name of Jacob Olafson's boat?

Short Essay Questions

1. How are the men of the North treated when they had sailed into the Byzantium empire?

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

3. What reaction does Jacob's wife, Rena, have to arriving on Norday Island?

4. What sorts of food do Thorfinn and Sir James MacTavish eat on their way to Stirling Castle?

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

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

7. What is the family situation of Matthew Ragnarson at the beginning of the book?

8. What is the Solan Goose?

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

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

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

How would you describe the writing style of this book? Historical fiction? Poetry? Lyrical fiction? Is it a combination of several styles? Describe the style and find examples in the book of this style.

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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