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. The effects of Ernest's special ale caused all of the following EXCEPT:

2. What does Tom Crick mean by the term "Natural History"?

3. What is one of the books Tom Crick reads that he finds in the trove of books collected by his great-aunts Louisa and Dora?

4. What does Freddie Parr do to Mary as revenge for setting him up to lose the competition because she knew he couldn't swim?

5. What does Ernest Atkinson do with the three remaining steam ships he owns?

Short Essay Questions

1. In chapter 41, Mary makes a decision to see someone for help with her miscarriage. Whom does Mary want to go and see?

2. Chapter 16 is titled "Longitude 0┬░." What is this a reference to?

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

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

5. In chapter 5, what does Tom notice about Freddie Parr's face, and what does he conclude from it?

6. 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?

7. In chapter 25, Tom Crick gauges the reaction of his students at his racy revelations. What does he observe about rebellion in this context?

8. 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?

9. In chapter 48, what is the difficulty the headmaster runs into when he tries to announce Tom Cricks' retirement to the students at the school?

10. In chapter 43, Tom Crick parts from Price shouting "don't let him do it!" What is he referring to and what theme that has run through the novel is this a culmination of?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Carefully consider the character of Ernest Atkinson in Graham Swift's novel Waterland. Trace the mistakes he makes that lead to his social, political, and financial decline in Gildsey and that cause catastrophe for his descendants. Finally, analyze what Ernest's life might symbolize in Tom Crick's narrative about the Fens and its people.

Essay Topic 2

In Graham Swift's novel Waterland, the narrator Tom Crick is a history teacher. He frequently interrupts his lessons to talk to his students about the meaning of history. At one point, he claims that history primarily teaches about human nature by teaching about humanity's mistakes. Using specific examples from the novel, examine how Tom supports that theory with the stories he tells. Recount at least two such mistakes from the novel and explore their implications. Analyze whether Tom successfully makes his case. If so, what is it about human nature that he is trying to show?

Essay Topic 3

Graham Swift's novel Waterland features four strong women characters--Sarah Atkinson, Helen Atkinson Crick, Mary Metcalf Crick, and Martha Clay. However, all of them appear to struggle with serious psychological disorders or some form of madness. What are those disorders for each of them? What appear to be their causes? How do their disorders impact the story? What is the supernatural aspect that interacts with the madness of each of them? Finally, analyze what Swift may be trying to express about the nature of women portraying all the major female characters in Waterland in this way.

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