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. Who is Isa Estquoy?

2. What is Hector Drummond known for?

3. In chapter 2, who does Thorfinn dream of?

4. Who sees the ship of the Sea King in the distance?

5. Who is the chief body guard of Prince Boris?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the scripture reading that the pastor from the Borders, Reverend Hector Drummond, saying?

3. Why is the horse, Seamus, killed on the road to Stirling Castle?

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

5. Why does Jacob Olafson run away on the day of his sister's wedding?

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

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

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

9. When and where does Old Jacob Olafson die?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The social order of Norday Island is strictly regulated. Thorfinn is cast, from birth, to be a crofter, as his father was before him. Write an essay on why such a system of pre-ordained roles is important for the continuation of any culture. Is Thorfinn simply a rare oddity who can't fulfill his role or is he symbolic of the "modern man" who longs to find himself outside the bounds of tradition and culture? What is the role of tradition in a small interdependent world such as Norday?

Essay Topic 2

The impetuous for Thorfinn's storytelling/dreaming is often being uncomfortable (from either boredom or conflict). Trace this pattern through the book and show how these uncomfortable situations lead him into a time of imagination. Show how he is able to work through difficulty through his gift of imagination and storytelling.

Essay Topic 3

Looking at the historic imaginative stories, write an essay on the various time periods and major event which Thorfinn "brings to life" through his imagination and dreaming. Touch briefly on each episode and clearly identify the time period and major characters of the story.

(see the answer keys)

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