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 keeps Thorfinn awake during church services?

2. What is the name of Willum Holm's horse?

3. What do the Norweigan sailors look like?

4. Where do the men of Norday gather to discuss politics?

5. In Thorfinn's dream of broch building who comes up with the idea?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the Battle of Bannockburn so important?

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

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

4. What does the poorest man in Norday believe politically?

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

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

7. Why does Thorfinn not know what the circular ruin is that stands on the shore a mere half mile from his home?

8. In chapter four where does the school teacher, Mr. Simon, take the class?

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

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

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

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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