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 causes the soldiers at the 1915 Royal Cambrideshire Militia parade to stumble out of formation?

2. Who does Tom Crick think his wife Mary is having a love affair with in her old age?

3. What secret does Tom reveal to his students about Lewis Scott, the headmaster of the school?

4. What is Ernest Atkinson's reaction to the fire?

5. What does Ernest Atkinson, Tom's grandfather, do that marks the beginning of a long list of scandalous behavior?

Short Essay Questions

1. In chapter 23, Tom Crick asserts that the 14th of July festivities the French celebrate as Bastille Day are more of a fairy tale than anything else. What makes him say so?

2. Chapter 49 is one more chapter Tom Crick spends lamenting what happens when idealists begin revolutions and lose sight of their ideals. What is that example?

3. What is the significance of phlegm for the body according to chapter 51?

4. In chapter 37, Tom Crick discusses the idea of terror and how it aids people in pretending they're changing the world for the better. What are some examples Tom gives from the French Revolution?

5. In chapter 4, what is the reasoning the headmaster Lewis Scott gives Tom Crick for laying Tom off and merging history with General Studies?

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 2, a student called Price interrupts Tom Crick, the history teacher, to tell him what about history?

8. In chapter 29, Tom comes up with a way to test whether Dick killed Freddie Parr. What does he do to provoke a reaction from Dick? What reaction does he get?

9. In chapter 38, Tom describes the death of his mother from the flu. What is most remarkable about it to him?

10. In chapter 32, Tom Crick describes the relationship between Mary and Dick. Why does Mary say she wants to "educate" Dick and what is the version of events that she tells Tom?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

During his history lessons, the narrator of Graham Swift's novel Waterland, Tom Crick, stops teaching directly about the French Revolution and instead begins to tell stories about the Fenlands and about his family history. Giving specific examples from the book, explain why Tom Crick does this and what he wants to convey about the meaning of history by employing that tactic.

Essay Topic 2

Sexual relationships and their consequences are central to Graham Swift's novel Waterland. Choose one of those relationships between the characters and their sexuality. Explore why the characters express their sexuality as they do. Explain the consequences these choices have for each of them and for their partners. Analyze in how far their sexual development is tied to external factors--such as social pressure--over which they have no control, and in how far it is their own choices that lead to the consequences that they have to face.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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