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

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

3. What is Ernest Atkinson's reaction to the fire?

4. What did Johannes Schmidt conclude about the difference between the European eel and the American eel?

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 23, Tom Crick asserts that the 14th of July festivities the French celebrate as Bastille Day are more of a fairy tale than anything else. What makes him say so?

2. In chapter 45, what is the symbolic significance of where Dick elected to hide the key from Tom to their mother's chest?

3. In chapter 43, Tom Crick parts from Price shouting "don't let him do it!" What is he referring to and what theme that has run through the novel is this a culmination of?

4. In chapter 27, Tom Crick explains what he means by Natural History. What does he think it is a study of, truly?

5. 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?

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

7. 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?

8. In chapter 21, Tom Crick asks, "when the past tries to demolish itself, how do you demolish the past?" What is he getting at?

9. In chapter 10, Tom Crick explains that he thinks the most important question is the question "why?" How does he use Louis XVI's fate to illustrate that point?

10. In chapter 37, Tom Crick discusses the idea of terror and how it aids people in pretending they're changing the world for the better. What are some examples Tom gives from the French Revolution?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A central tenet of Graham Swift's novel Waterland is that history has something circular about it. Using specifics from the novel, examine one example from the story that supports that idea. Explain the impact that circular nature of history has on how the novel unfolds. Analyze whether the narrator, Tom Crick, is projecting his own theory onto the story in this regard and why he might want to do so. Support your opinion with specific references from the book that show what sort of person Tom is and what his agenda might be.

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

Carefully consider the character of Sarah Atkinson from Graham Swift's novel Waterland. Using specific examples from the novel, trace how she captures the imagination of her two sons, of the people of the town of Gildsey, and of her descendants. Finally, analyze what Sarah's life might symbolize in Tom Crick's narrative about the Fens and its people.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,298 words
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