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 is the agreement between Helen and Ernest Atkinson in exchange for Ernest allowing Helen to marry Harry Crick?

2. After Freddie's death, Mary reacts in a drastic way. What does she do?

3. What is the worst thing Tom Crick can imagine?

4. Tom thinks that people who focus on ideals like the Declaration of the Rights of Man instead of the details of the French Revolution forget what important fact?

5. Who hunted in Greenwich Park, where Tom and Mary sit in the evenings with their dog?

Short Essay Questions

1. in chapter 44, Tom Crick and his wife Mary return the baby Mary stole to the Safeways store where she found it. What are Tom's fears as they approach the mother of the child and how does the mother react?

2. 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?

3. Chapter 9 details the rise of the Atkinson family through various activities and involvements. After Tom Atkinson marries Sarah Turnbull. Sarah becomes a pivotal character in the Atkinson story. How?

4. In chapter 13, Tom Crick uses a pun on the word "histrionics" to explain his feelings. What is that pun and what is its significance?

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

6. 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?

7. Chapter 51 is titled "About Phlegm." What is the significance of phlegm for the novel?

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

9. In chapter 46, Tom opens his mother's chest in the attic and finds a few items. What are they and what is their significance?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

One important theme in Graham Swift's novel Waterland is the tension between people from different social backgrounds. Choose one of the characters who crosses a social barrier in an important relationship and has to suffer the consequences for doing so. Using specifics from the book, trace the character's reasons, actions, and the reactions of those who are and those who are not from his or her own social class. What might the author be trying to show about history and about society by including the instance you chose in the novel?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the novel Waterland, the narrator Tom Crick uses fairy-tale language like "once upon a time" and references to supernatural beings like ghosts and witches while he recounts history. Using specific examples from the novel, deduce why Tom Crick does so. Discuss why he feels justified in mixing history and fairy tales.

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