Beside the Ocean of Time Test | Final 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. Why does Thorfinn put off eating canned food upon his final return to Norday?

2. Where does Thorfinn spend most of the war?

3. Who is Thomas Vass?

4. What is a press-gang?

5. What dates are carved on Jacob Olafson's stone?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Thorfinn see Sophie that very first time?

2. Who was Revd Hector Drummond and what was he like?

3. Why does the seal girl, Mara, not follow the seal-people into the sea?

4. What does Thorfinn find when he goes, after many long years, back to the loft where he had locked up Mara's seal skin?

5. What does Thomas Vass think about the arrival of work crews and machinery on Norday Island during the war?

6. Did the peace treaty between Chamberlain and Hitler stop the work on the Norday Aerodrome?

7. How does Mara react when a seal is captured and killed by the fishermen?

8. Who is Sophie?

9. Why are all the doors gone from the island homes when Thorfinn returns to Norday after many years absence?

10. Who is Major Schneider?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The style of writing a story within a story is somewhat unique. What does this literary device allow the author to reveal about his main character, Thorfinn? Why doesn't he simply write a book of imaginative stories? How is this double layer of reality different? How does it affect the reader?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze the themes in "The Song of the Broch." What is the overall image that Thorfinn creates? How is that image carried through in the chapter as a whole? What is the overall feeling and tone of the song? How is writing song lyrics different from telling a story through narrative or prose?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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