A Look At The Novel 'waterland' By Graham Swift. Focusing On How The Use Of History Within The Novel Exemplifies The Reflective Style Of Swift.

1900 words - 8 pages

A Brief Histoire of HistoryWhen one examines the origins of history he must first note the importance of oral tradition. This is followed by tracing these stories through their documentation and inevitably their teachings in educated circles. The importance of history is sometimes questioned as many believe looking to the past is an apprehensive way of pointing to the future, however it is this same past that allows us to review earlier decisions and prevent similar mistakes in the future. In Graham Swift's Waterland, the main character Tom Crick embraces the science of history to explain the development of civilization and more importantly to explain and analyze his own life. Tom's life starts in a time of oral tradition at the Fens and he moves into teaching at one of England's public schools. His time draws to a close as a teacher, and this marks the end of history with his department being discontinued. The use of history within the novel defines both the reflective style of Graham Swift's writing and the characters that he creates.Oral tradition is the foundation of history whether modern or personal. Graham Swift exemplifies this by discussing the importance of story telling to the history of the Fens. He begins by illustrating the character of Tom's father as a man who enjoys telling stories whether they are true or not. The subject of discussion was unimportant however as he had a story for everything."For my father, as well as being a superstitious man, had a knack for telling stories. Made-up stories, true stories; soothing stories, warning stories; stories with a moral or with no point at all; believable stories and unbelievable stories; stories which were neither one thing nor the other. It was a knack which ran in his family"(p.2)It is this knack for stories that is passed down to Tom and which he tries to emulate with his work. It is also with this description that he begins his story, his epic of his own life that he passes down to his students. It is a student by the name of Price who questions the utility of history, and with his questioning Crick reverts back to his natural mode of expression, storytelling. Price states that, "what matters is the here and now. Not the past. The here and now - and the future."(p.6). He argues that one should not look back to the past as a way of choosing your future, but rather be in the "here and now" where further analysis is not just unnecessary but also imprudent. One should look to the future to give them hope to move on. It is Price's biting final comment however that seems to take Mr. Crick aback as he abandons his normal style of teaching and begins his story. According to Price, "The only important thing about history..... is that it's got to the point where it's probably about to end"(p.7) With that comment, Tom Crick, history teacher, lets history as most people see it die, and begins anew with the only story he knows for certain, the story of his life. To further the significance it...

Find Another Essay On A look at the novel 'Waterland' by Graham Swift. Focusing on how the use of history within the novel exemplifies the reflective style of Swift.

Look at the significance of chapter five to the novel as a whole

927 words - 4 pages Look at the significance of chapter five to the novel as a whole. Focus on the relevance and effect of writer’s use of language to describe setting and character and what it shows about social and historical influences. ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley is a complex horror novel that was written during the age of Romanticism. It contains many themes common to a Romantic novel such as death, tragedy, and loneliness. These themes have all

"The Declaration of Independence" by Thomas Jefferson: A look at the writing style of Thomas Jefferson

1161 words - 5 pages The End of a Tyranny"The Declaration of Independence" is one of the most defining works of American history. During the writing of the "Declaration of Independence", the Thirteen American Colonies were very busy deciding whether America should be independent or not. Some of the topics included how Britain treats the American Colonies, and whether the timing is right to depart from the rule of Great Britain. However all of this heated debate all

The Madness Within- A Look at Poe’s Use of Mental Illness

991 words - 4 pages two stories have frequent similarities concerning the topic of madness. The symbol of an eye, diseases which share the same symptoms, and killing someone the characters love, are all common themes between the two stories. In “The Tell Tale Heart” an anonymous narrator has a strange psychological disease, which causes him to fixate on an eye. Our storyteller sets out upon a quest to defend his sanity, making a vivid picture of the old man's eye

Waterland: Swift's Recursive Novel- A Mosaic of Histories and Patterns

920 words - 4 pages of the increased chapter size referring to the past and Crick proving during history lessons that the present is a very small part of time compared to the past, Swift hopes that the reader realizes to appreciate the past, by showing that although we live during the present, when we look back on our lives we are looking back into the past.As the novel nears its end, Swift uses the recursive style of writing to move back and forth between chapters

In The Rest of the Novel, How does Steinbeck Use Crooks to Present Attitudes to Black People at the Time the Novel Is Set?

1060 words - 5 pages the novella, Crooks is seen to gain more sympathy as he mentions how at he remembers the time when he did have friends and “they was always near me, always there.’ This shows how he did use to have someone in that he could rely on and now that has changed because as a Black American he just gets discriminated. The word ‘always’ shows certainty in the way that he used to be happy with his life. Crooks mentions his childhood and ‘The white kids come

Communities and their Interactions Within the novel: A Gathering Of Old Men by Ernest Gaines

956 words - 4 pages A gathering of Old Men written by Ernest J. Gaines gives an accurate portrayal of what the slave era was like. Gaines grew up on a plantation in Louisiana. He did not become a scholar until he moved to California in 1948. Learning opportunities for blacks during his era were hard to come by especially in south. While in California Gaines was able to attend college and would graduate from San Francisco State College in 1957. He would soon later

Marxism Within The Novel Yarn

942 words - 4 pages are run. He does not agree with capitalism and is showing how the future could possibly turn out if capitalistic societies continue their corrupt ways.Another concept that Armstrong plays with within his novel is the idea of fetishism. The entire novel revolves around fashion. Fashion designers run the world. People are labelled by the brands that they wear. Fashion is used to show which social classes people belong to. People of different brands

Critical Analysis Of The Short Story The "Astronomer's Wife" By Kaye Boyle. Included Is An Indepth Look At The Story's Meaning, Specifically Focusing On Mrs. Katherine Ames

611 words - 3 pages for hours, at others he sat upon the roof behind his telescope, or wandered down the pathway to the road and out across the mountains." Since the astronomer is often in his own world, Mrs. Ames is expected to cater to his needs. "That man might be each time the new arching wave, and woman the undertow that sucked him back, were things she been told by his silence were so." This quote exemplifies how involved in his work the astronomer is

The theme of identity as developed within the novel "The Woman Warrior" by Maxime Hong Kingston

1220 words - 5 pages I am going to explore the theme of identity as developed within the novel "The Woman Warrior". In "The Woman Warrior", the first-person narrator illustrates the progression of the search for her identity as a female torn between two cultures: Chinese and American. Maxine Hong Kingston, in my opinion, subverts the traditional definitions of what is justified by many as independent identity, and more specifically she attempts to question the

How the use of the diary form narrative is beneficial to the novel "Dracula" by Bram Stoker

886 words - 4 pages How the use of the diary form narrative is beneficial to the novel Dracula.Bram Stoker, being the creative and intellectual writer himself, wrote the novelDracula in the diary form of narrative. This was a good choice of how to write the novelsince it was very beneficial to the plot of Dracula. Examples of how the diary form isbeneficial to Dracula is seen in his writing and book.One of the greatest benefits of the diary narrative is that the

"The Once And Future King": An Analysis Of Themes Within The Novel By T.H. White

434 words - 2 pages Within the novel, "The Once and Future King", a theme that is prevalent is the use of unnecessary warfare which leads to nothing but death and suffering. White goes so far as to make satirical suggestions that knights are more brawn than brains, and that the majority of those involved in war are like the ants that Arthur dealt with, mindless robots that operate at the whim of the one who rules them.When Arthur became an ant, he heard a voice

Similar Essays

"Frankenstein" By Mary Shelley: Look At The Significance Of Chapter Five To The Novel As A Whole. Focus On The Relevance And Effect Of Writer's Use Of Language

605 words - 2 pages a terrible mistake he has made, what a disaster he has invented. This has a major impact on the rest of the novel as it could have gone either way; he could have loved his invention or he could have hated it. He chose to hate it. By choosing this, it shows how narrow-minded people in the nineteenth could be because if the monster was let loose on the streets, the public would go mad; they would demand that whoever made the "monster" be hanged

The Use Of Satire In A Modest Proposal By Jonathan Swift

832 words - 3 pages A Modest Proposal In “A Modest Proposal” several forms of satire are demonstrated throughout the story. Satire is defined as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose or criticize people’s stupidity or vices. (Google) In "A Modest Proposal" Swift uses parody which is a form of satire. Parody is primarily making fun of something to create a humorous feel for it. In “A Modest Proposal,” Swift uses parody to make fun of the

Examining The Formation Of Swift Trust Within A Scientific Global Virtual Team

667 words - 3 pages confidence by way of “highly energetic, hands-on, eager, generative design of action”. These types of people acquire 'swift trust' simply because they are able to participate in societal cues. This virtual collaboration setting in which SciTeam ended up being incubated makes use of social media engineering to enable customers to manufacture a account in which they could show details about their own education, publications, work history, interests

A Comprehensive Look At The Development Of The Computer Programming Language, Focusing Partially On C++

1908 words - 8 pages computer programming languages; as well as, explain why C++ exists, and how it works.Throughout the history of the computer programming language there have been several different types of languages, all attributing to the many great leaps and bounds of technology. There are two basic types of computers that use a programming language. The first is an Electro-mechanical computer. (Electro-mechanical computers rely on gears and wires to operate.) The