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 headmaster of the school where Tom Crick teaches history thinks Tom should retire from his job. Why?

2. Which one of the following is NOT one of the ghosts that is said to haunt the marches along the River Leem?

3. What does Ernest Atkinson convert his manor Kessling Hall into?

4. Tom tells us that as a young teenager Mary liked to "experiment" with boys. Whom does he NOT suspect her of sleeping with?

5. What mesmerized King Canute as he was rowed past Ely?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. 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?

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

5. In chapter 28, Tom explains why he turned to history and stories as passionately as he did. Why is that?

6. Chapter 39 is about Mary's reaction to her pregnancy and to Tom's joy about it. What does Tom find her doing and what is the reason she gives?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Carefully consider the relationship between the characters Tom Crick and Mary Metcalf in Graham Swift's novel Waterland. Using specifics from the novel, recount the ups and downs of their relationship. What in Tom's and Mary's personalities leads to how their relationship plays out? Finally, analyze what the significance of story-telling (or its absence) is for their relationship.

Essay Topic 3

Sexual relationships and their consequences are central to Graham Swift's novel Waterland. Choose one of those relationships between the characters and their sexuality. Explore why the characters express their sexuality as they do. Explain the consequences these choices have for each of them and for their partners. Analyze in how far their sexual development is tied to external factors--such as social pressure--over which they have no control, and in how far it is their own choices that lead to the consequences that they have to face.

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