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. Who burns down the original Hall?

2. What is Elphinstone's role on Norday?

3. What is a croft?

4. Who arrives on the Raven one summer day in 1937?`

5. Who is Billie Holm?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was the present laird, Mr. Harcourt-Smithers, so much poorer than his forefathers?

2. Why did the hippies finally leave Norday Island?

3. What does Thorfinn do when he returns to the island after the war?

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

5. According to chapter 5, how did the lairds of old manage to be so wealthy?

6. Why was Mistress Ragnarson not afraid to catch consumption from her son Thorfinn (in chapter 6)?

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

8. What kind of food does Mara the seal wife like to eat?

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

10. What does Thorfinn take with him when he is liberated from the German war camp?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a detailed character study of Thorfinn. How is he introduced? What are the major obstacles placed in the path of this protagonist? How does he evolve through the book? What does he learn and how does he change?

Essay Topic 2

Although the book is written in English, it is full of a distinct dialect that is Scottish/Orkney. Go through the book, lifting out phrases, words and names which reveal "Beside the Ocean of Time" to be a book written in a very specific and interesting dialect of the English language.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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