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Waterland Essay

This Study Guide consists of approximately 78 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Waterland.
This section contains 2,656 words
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In the following essay excerpt, Wilt examines the concept of fatherhood in Waterland.

Graham Swift's Waterland opens like a Gothic novel with a murdered body floating down the river that drains the English fenland. The narrator is a mysteriously spooked London history teacher whose fenland, paternal forbears were rural lock keepers and tale spinners, and whose maternal forbears were Victorian builders and brewers on the rise, in league with progress. Throughout the novel he addresses as his readers a class of adolescents who have suddenly rebelled against "the grand narrative"—history. The young people are spooked, too; they are pierced by nuclear fear, the recognition that the future, which is all that makes the past significant, may be foreclosed. Their challenge to the teacher, Tom Crick, culminates two other disasters. His headmaster, a no-nonsense technocrat with an airy faith in a future under the nuclear umbrella, has used...

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This section contains 2,656 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Waterland Study Guide
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Waterland from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.