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 is the name of Olafson's farm?

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

3. Who digs Olafson's grave?

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

5. What are the names of Matthew Ragnarson's daughters?

Short Essay Questions

1. When and where does Old Jacob Olafson die?

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

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

4. Why are the children bored on the field trip to the broch?

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

6. What is the Solan Goose?

7. Why did the invading ship men stop coming to claim land in the Orkney islands?

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

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

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

In the tight knit community of Norday, each person plays a pre-ordained role which is vital in some way to the health of the entire community. Write an essay describing the role of the laird in Orkney culture, both in time past and in present day (1930s) Norday. What role did the laird play and why is the present laird, although much less powerless, still important? What is his function in terms of the culture? Or does he have one any longer?

Essay Topic 2

Contrast the story of the two horses, Seamus (chapter 2) and Selkie (chapter 5). Write an essay describing their part in the story and what they symbolize. George Mackay Brown uses both horses symbolically. What does each represent? What is their story and how do they reveal the deeper meaning of the protagonists journey?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay on the idea of a muse, in both ancient Greek literature and here, in chapter 5. How does Sophie function as a muse? Find one example of an ancient Greek muse and compare her to that example.

(see the answer keys)

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