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Waterland Themes

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.
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Tom Crick is obsessed with exploring the meaning and value of history, but the view he presents is not a comforting one. He rejects the naïve notion that we study history in order to learn from our mistakes and improve the present. He prefers instead a cyclical view of history that denies the idea of progress. Each step forward is followed by a step backward; there is no achievement without loss: "It [history] goes in two directions at once. It goes backwards as it goes forwards. It loops. It takes detours." Similarly, every benefit that has ever been granted to human society has been accompanied by a corresponding regression. The invention of the printing press, for example, led not only to the dissemination of knowledge, but also the dissemination of propaganda and strife. All in all, Tom does not know whether the conditions...

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This section contains 897 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Waterland Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Waterland from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.