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 did Johannes Schmidt conclude about the difference between the European eel and the American eel?

2. What about Mary strikes Tom when he returns from Germany at the end of World War II to marry her?

3. What is the name of the student Tom Crick butts heads with the most?

4. What about the scene at the Lode does NOT remind Tom of the later scene of Freddie Parr's death?

5. Johannes Schmidt, whose theory about eels and their mating habits is considered the most accurate one, thought that eels mate where?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Who does the chapter title "The Saviour of the World" refer to, and what does it mean?

3. IIn Chapter 43, what significant change occurs in Tom and Price's attitude toward history?

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

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

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. In chapter 8, Tom Crick speaks about how humans tell stories. What are some examples he uses about how history and fiction sometimes seem to overlap?

9. As he watches Dick ride off on his motorbike at the end of chapter 46, Tom states that Dick rides as if he has the legacy of the Atkinsons on his back. How so?

10. In chapter 1, the narrator describes the Crick family's relationship with the Fens how?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One major conflict in Graham Swift's novel Waterland is the one between the narrator, Tom Crick, and the headmaster of the school where Tom teaches, Lewis Scott. Using specific examples from the book, show what the four root causes of that conflict are--a conflict about personality, a conflict about the school's reputation, a conflict about teaching style, and a conflict about the usefulness of teaching history. Analyze the differing visions of the future that Tom and the headmaster seem to harbor and the implications of each of those visions for the future of society.

Essay Topic 2

One of the strains in the novel Waterland concerns the differences between Tom Crick and his student Price. Outline their initial disagreements. Then discuss how Tom slowly guides Price from opposing the study of history to finding it worthwhile. In the novel, this occurs through a series of steps that are both philosophical and personal. Make sure to trace them in a detailed, logical, and chronological fashion. In your conclusion, analyze whether it is Tom who has changed Price or Price who has changed Tom.

Essay Topic 3

Graham Swift's novel Waterland is set in the fictional town on Gildsey and along a fictional river, the River Leem. The Fenlands, the River Ouse, the town of Ely, and many other details are, however, real. In a sense, that fact is symbolic for how the novel treats the relationship between history and story. Using specifics and quotes from the novel, explore the relationship between fact and fiction in the novel. Make sure to include Tom Crick's opinions about history in your discussion.

(see the answer keys)

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