Tom Crick Quotes

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In the novel Waterland the setting is one of the most important factors in the book. Tom Crick is a fifty-two year old history teacher, who has been teaching for around 30 years. Tom is married to Mary Metcalf, who used to work in an elderly home. The headmaster at the school where Tom teaches, Lewis Scott, is shutting down the history program and forcing Tom into an early retirement. After students asking him what the relevance of learning history is, he changes his teaching methods from presenting them historical facts to telling them about his own childhood and his own experiences in history. He tells them about his great-grandfather and what the Fens where like when he was alive, then about his grandfather and his doing in the Fenland…show more content…
He says: “For the chief fact about the Fens is that they are reclaimed land, land that was once water, and which, even today, is not quite solid.” (Page 8). In this quote, Swift talks as if the Fens was a character taking something back from someone, he does this by using the words they are. One of the conflicts of the novel is the land turning to sea, like it was long ago. Throughout the history in the novel, the Fens are constantly being flooded and the people of the Fens lose everything. On page 7, Swift says “The problem of the Fens has always been the problem of drainage.” It is as if the author is taking about the antagonist in the novel, the people of the Fens will drain the water, but it’ll keep coming back, causing the people to re-drain the land once again, ruining their entire crop and buildings and cities, like the floods after Sarah Atkinson’s death. “You do not reclaim a land without difficulty and without ceaseless effort and vigilance…. Strictly speaking, they are never reclaimed, only being reclaimed.” (Page 10). The author is talking about a war, between man and water, between human and the earth. People think that they are claiming the land, but in reality it is never theirs to claim in the first place and the Earth will always take back what is its

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