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 Tom compare the sound of Dick's motorcycle to the evening Mary has broken up with Tom?

2. How does Tom react to Mary's statement that "everything has changed" with Freddie's death.

3. What gives the Atkinsons the decisive advantage over the other brewers in the Gildsey area?

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

5. What game are Tom Crick, Freddie Parr, Peter Baine, and Terry Coe playing with Mary Metcalf and Shirley Alford on the banks of the Hockwell Lode as Dick Crick looks on?

Short Essay Questions

1. In chapter 6, Tom Crick suggests that the Fens and history have what in common?

2. In chapter 50, Harry Crick spends a lot of time thinking about the significance of the bed he is lying in. What is his conclusion?

3. 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?

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

5. In chapter 22, the role of Ernest Atkinson in the events of Coronation Day is ambiguous. Please describe the events of Coronation Day and why they appear to have happened.

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

7. 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?

8. In chapter 7, Tom describes the complicated relationship between Mary, Tom, Freddie Parr, and Dick. Briefly discuss the main dynamics of this relationship.

9. Who does the chapter title "The Saviour of the World" refer to, and what does it mean?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Graham Swift's novel Waterland features four strong women characters--Sarah Atkinson, Helen Atkinson Crick, Mary Metcalf Crick, and Martha Clay. However, all of them appear to struggle with serious psychological disorders or some form of madness. What are those disorders for each of them? What appear to be their causes? How do their disorders impact the story? What is the supernatural aspect that interacts with the madness of each of them? Finally, analyze what Swift may be trying to express about the nature of women portraying all the major female characters in Waterland in this way.

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.

(see the answer keys)

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