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 sort of proof does Mary offer that Dick cannot be the father of her child?

2. Tom confronts Price about his frequent interruptions during class. What question does Price's reluctance about history boil down to?

3. What marks the end of Ernest Atkinson's political career?

4. What is the term Tom Crick keeps using to refer to Mary's attitude towards the world when she was an adolescent?

5. What does Tom Crick think the French really celebrate on Bastille Day when they mark the beginning of the French Revolution?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In chapter 24, Tom, Dick, Freddie Parr, Mary Metcalf, and a few other kids are playing together near the water. What is the importance of the eel to all the events that transpire afterwards?

3. In chapter 34, Mary's experiment to teach Dick about love ends abruptly. How?

4. Chapter 16 is titled "Longitude 0┬░." What is this a reference to?

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

6. At the end of chapter 45, Tom and Dick have a conversation about Mary and her baby. What is the one thing Dick confesses to Harry, and what are the two things Tom tells Dick?

7. In chapter 2, a student called Price interrupts Tom Crick, the history teacher, to tell him what about history?

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

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

10. 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.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Graham Swift's novel Waterland features several important symbols that recur over and over again--the phlegm-like soil, the chest in the attic and the hidden key, pikes and eels, Coronation Ale, the empty bottle Tom finds in the river, the ruined windmill, and so on. Choose two of those symbols, trace in detail how they are used throughout the novel to point to something beyond themselves, and discuss how and why they are important to understanding some of the deeper truths the novel is trying to convey.

Essay Topic 2

One major conflict in Graham Swift's novel Waterland is the one between the narrator, Tom Crick, and the headmaster of the school where Tom teaches, Lewis Scott. Using specific examples from the book, show what the four root causes of that conflict are--a conflict about personality, a conflict about the school's reputation, a conflict about teaching style, and a conflict about the usefulness of teaching history. Analyze the differing visions of the future that Tom and the headmaster seem to harbor and the implications of each of those visions for the future of society.

Essay Topic 3

Carefully consider the character Dick Crick in Graham Swift's novel Waterland. Trace what the reader learns about Dick as the story progresses that explains Dick's personality, actions, and passions. Finally, analyze what Dick's life might symbolize in Tom Crick's narrative about the Fens and its people.

(see the answer keys)

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