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

2. What does Tom dream that he considers telling the headmaster about?

3. What is the motto of the New Brewery in Gildsey?

4. Why does his most outspoken student reject Tom Crick's attempt to teach the class history?

5. Tom Crick mentions a similarity his father found between his home and the battlefields of World War I. What is that similarity?

Short Essay Questions

1. Chapter 36 is titled "About Nothing." What is the "nothing" that Tom refers to?

2. In chapter 40, Tom Crick discusses "contemporary nightmares." What are they?

3. In chapter 47, Tom explains why he thinks Mary's mental illness can't be healed. Explain his reasoning.

4. At the end of chapter 47, Tom says that "we all come to out asylums." Where is he when he says this and what does he mean?

5. in chapter 15, Tom Crick gives a history of the River Ouse and the Fenlands in its river valley. List at least three details from the river's history.

6. In chapter 21, Tom Crick asks, "when the past tries to demolish itself, how do you demolish the past?" What is he getting at?

7. 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?

8. In chapter 33, Tom Crick takes Price to a bar to have a drink. What is the question Price asks Tom that shakes Tom the most?

9. 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?

10. In chapter 19, Tom Crick describes the beginning of the decline of his grandfather, Ernest Atkinson. Discuss what caused that decline.

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

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 features several important symbols that recur over and over again--the phlegm-like soil, the chest in the attic and the hidden key, pikes and eels, Coronation Ale, the empty bottle Tom finds in the river, the ruined windmill, and so on. Choose two of those symbols, trace in detail how they are used throughout the novel to point to something beyond themselves, and discuss how and why they are important to understanding some of the deeper truths the novel is trying to convey.

(see the answer keys)

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