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 Atkinsons are an important family in the Gildsey area for all of the following reasons EXCEPT:

2. Tom confronts Price about his frequent interruptions during class. What question does Price's reluctance about history boil down to?

3. What is Tom Crick's response to this revelation?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. 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.

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

5. In chapter 34, Mary's experiment to teach Dick about love ends abruptly. How?

6. 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?

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

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. In chapter 45, what is the symbolic significance of where Dick elected to hide the key from Tom to their mother's chest?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Carefully consider the character Dick Crick in Graham Swift's novel Waterland. Trace what the reader learns about Dick as the story progresses that explains Dick's personality, actions, and passions. Finally, analyze what Dick's life might symbolize in Tom Crick's narrative about the Fens and its people.

Essay Topic 2

Analyze Tom's opinions about history and fate and explain how they relate to the relationship between the parents and children he has woven into his narrative. What might the symbolic meaning be of the fact that he and Mary cannot have a child of their own, and the only way for them to have something similar is for Mary to steal an infant and for Tom to claim Price as his son in the pub?

Essay Topic 3

Unusual deaths and half-dead states haunt the characters of the novel Waterland by Graham Swift. Choose one character whose death or death-like state is traumatizing to the other characters, describe the circumstances of his or her death, and explore the death's lasting effects. Using specifics from the book, argue why those deaths were as important as they were. Analyze how death serves as a theme and as a symbol in the novel and what that theme or symbol implies for Tom Crick's view of history.

(see the answer keys)

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