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 is the muse chapter 5 is named for?

2. What is this "crudded milk, fantastical puff-paste" that George Mackay Brown speaks of in chapter 6?

3. Why is the present laird so poor?

4. In chapter 6 what does Thorfinn dream of?

5. What are the two big houses on Norday Island?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Sophie?

2. Why did the Westvoe farm catch on fire and burn to the ground?

3. When the workmen are sent to build the aerodrome on Norday Island they are quite unhappy. What cheers them up?

4. In chapter 6, what is Elphinstone's role in rounding up the young men for military service?

5. What is happening to both the laird's house and the minister's manse in chapter 5?

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

7. Why do the seal people rush back into the sea?

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

9. What did the Ragnarson's dog, Stalwart, do when the workers came to tear down the fences in order that Ingle might become part of the Aerodrome building site?

10. Why did the hippies finally leave Norday Island?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Beside the Ocean of Time" is rooted in Orkney tradition and culture. Write an essay on the connection it has to the world of these northern Scottish islands. How does the author evoke the landscape and ways of his people? What does he love about his homeland? How does he express this in the book?

Essay Topic 2

Food is a strong theme in the book. Food is a very clear way to evoke a cultural tradition. Find some examples of Brown's use of food, in both the present day Norday story and the dreams. Describe the way Brown uses food and how it is used to bring the reader into the time and place of the characters.

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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