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Waterland Trailer 1992

The Waterland lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater to all learning styles. The lessons and activities will help students gain an intimate understanding of the text; whi The Waterland lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater to all learning styles.

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Reading Questions for Graham Swift's "Waterland"

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Some critical views and associated tasks. A variety of closed and open questions on chapters A game to help revise key events and quotations. A series of questions and activities to provoke thought. Don't show this message again. How does this narrative style fit into our previous discussions of the uses, powers, and significances of the written and spoken word? I present to you History, the fabrication, the diversion, the reality-obscuring drama. And there's no saying what consequences we won't risk, what reactions to out actions, what repercussions, what brick towers built to be knocked down, what chasings of our own tails, what chaos we won't assent to in order to assure ourselves that, none the less, things are happening.

And there's no saying what heady potions we won't concoct, what meanings, myths, manias we won't imbibe in order to convince ourselves that reality is not an empty vessel. But man Wherever he goes he wants to leave behind not a chaotic wake, not an empty space, but the comforting marker-buoys and trail-signs of stories.

According to the narrator, stories help fill the void of reality, stories help you forget the empty space of existence. How does the role of the story in this novel compare with that of the other novels we have read so far? Do they have the same function? Does the African version also serve to alter reality? I was interested in discussing the notion of storytelling within the early Crick family who lives in the Fens, and throughough the novel Waterland by Graham Swift.

How did the Cricks outwit reality? By telling stories. Down to the last generation, they were not only phlegmatic but superstitious and credulous creatures. Suckers for stories. While the Atkinsons made history, the Cricks spun yarns.

Waterland by Graham Swift as a Mosaic of Histories and Patterns

To me, this seemed to be the first mention of a theme that could connect to our previous post-colonial readings and discussions. In fact, the description "superstitious and credulous creatures" seems as if it could have been lifted from a European colonizer's description of the Yoruba, of Ibos, or of many of the other indigenous populations we have read about.

Can we stretch the connection a bit more and transfer the Cricks' reasons for storytelling "to outwit reality" to some of the native African populations? How in touch with reality were they? And are we thinking of "their reality" ancestors, spirits, the land , or a general, universal "reality" awareness of what is going on in the rest of the world and a cognitive awareness of what is happening to their own people as they are colonized?

What in storytelling is universal, what is specific to culture and place, etc. By the way, this is absolutely a beautiful book! Yet the Here and Now, which brings both joy and terror, comes but rarely - does not come even when we call it. That's the way it is: life includes a lot of empty space What do you do when reality is an empty space? You can make things happen - and conjure up, with all the risks, a little token urgency; you can drink and be merry and forget what your sober mind tells you.

Or, like the Cricks who out of their watery toils could always dredge up a tale or two, you can tell stories I believed, perhaps like you, that history was a myth. Until the Here and Now, gripping me by the arm, slapping my face and telling me that history was no invention but indeed existed - and I had become part of it. Crick, like many characters we have discussed, comes from an oral tradition as he writes a sort of social history involving the people of the fens.