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 is one of the books Tom Crick reads that he finds in the trove of books collected by his great-aunts Louisa and Dora?

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

4. What about Mary strikes Tom when he returns from Germany at the end of World War II to marry her?

5. What is the worst thing Tom Crick can imagine?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. In chapter 4, what is the reasoning the headmaster Lewis Scott gives Tom Crick for laying Tom off and merging history with General Studies?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. Briefly discuss how, in chapter 44, his interview with the police unravels Tom's earlier ideas about teaching the facts of history.

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

8. What is the surprise Tom Crick encounters when he stands up to speak at the end of chapter 48?

9. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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