Waterland 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 competition does Mary demand the boys take part in before she takes off her last piece of clothing for the winner?

2. What does Ernest Atkinson convert his manor Kessling Hall into?

3. How old is Sarah Atkinson when she dies?

4. What does Tom Crick's new-coined term "histrionics" refer to?

5. What is Henry Crick's occupation?

Short Essay Questions

1. Chapter 18 once again recounts the conversation the headmaster Lewis Scott and Tom Crick have about Tom's forced retirement. The headmaster attempts to diffuse the tension by offering Tom large amounts of what?

2. In chapter 42, a new-found confidante helps Mary to get something Mary wants. What is that?

3. In chapter 50, Harry Crick is bed-ridden in Tom's and Mary's first house in Gildsey. What made him ill?

4. In chapter 11, Tom Crick describes the inquest into Freddie Parr's death. What does the judge determine is the official cause of death, and how does he arrive at his conclusion?

5. In chapter 35, Tom Crick returns home from a day of teaching to find Mary has done what?

6. In chapter 27, Tom Crick explains what he means by Natural History. What does he think it is a study of, truly?

7. In chapter 45, what is the symbolic significance of where Dick elected to hide the key from Tom to their mother's chest?

8. In chapter 24, Tom, Dick, Freddie Parr, Mary Metcalf, and a few other kids are playing together near the water. What is the importance of the eel to all the events that transpire afterwards?

9. In chapter 20, Price tells Tom Crick that he thinks "explaining's a way of avoiding the facts while you pretend to get near them." Why does Price think he does not need to have explanations for history?

10. What is the surprise Tom Crick encounters when he stands up to speak at the end of chapter 48?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A central tenet of Graham Swift's novel Waterland is that history has something circular about it. Using specifics from the novel, examine one example from the story that supports that idea. Explain the impact that circular nature of history has on how the novel unfolds. Analyze whether the narrator, Tom Crick, is projecting his own theory onto the story in this regard and why he might want to do so. Support your opinion with specific references from the book that show what sort of person Tom is and what his agenda might be.

Essay Topic 2

Religion is not an overt topic in Graham Swift's novel Waterland, but it certainly recurs as a theme. In particular, Tom Crick discusses religion in respect to two women: Gildsey's patron saint Gunnhilda and Tom's wife Mary. Using specifics and quotes from the novel, retrace the religious development those two women undergo in the novel and compare and contrast them.

Essay Topic 3

Carefully consider the relationship between the characters Tom Crick and Mary Metcalf in Graham Swift's novel Waterland. Using specifics from the novel, recount the ups and downs of their relationship. What in Tom's and Mary's personalities leads to how their relationship plays out? Finally, analyze what the significance of story-telling (or its absence) is for their relationship.

(see the answer keys)

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