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. How old is Sarah Atkinson when she dies?

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

3. What is the object that Dick Crick treats like it is a real person?

4. Why does Tom Crick decide to study the history of the Fens?

5. Henry Crick, Tom's father, is obsessed with one question about Freddie's death that he repeats over and over again. What is it?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. In chapter 1, the narrator describes the Crick family's relationship with the Fens how?

3. 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?

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

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

6. In chapter 17, tells a version of the love story between Harry Crick and Helen Atkinson. How did they meet?

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

8. In chapter 32, Tom Crick describes the relationship between Mary and Dick. Why does Mary say she wants to "educate" Dick and what is the version of events that she tells Tom?

9. 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?

10. In chapter 31, Price tells Tom Crick about the student club he is part of. What club is that and what is its purpose?

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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