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

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

3. Which part of London does the couple move to once they are married and Tom takes a job as a history teacher?

4. What does Ernest Atkinson, Tom's grandfather, do that marks the beginning of a long list of scandalous behavior?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In chapter 3, the narrator discusses the history of the Fens in eastern England and human attempts to drain them and make them fit for agriculture. "Strictly speaking," the narrator says what about the effort to "reclaim" the Fens?

3. Chapter 26 is a long dissertation by Tom Crick about the mating habits of the eel. Recall three theories about how eels procreate that naturalists have advanced over the millennia.

4. 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.

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

6. 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?

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

8. At the end of chapter 47, Tom says that "we all come to out asylums." Where is he when he says this and what does he mean?

9. 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?

10. As he watches Dick ride off on his motorbike at the end of chapter 46, Tom states that Dick rides as if he has the legacy of the Atkinsons on his back. How so?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

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.

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