Waterland uses history, theory, and fictional biography to address the question of history. The blurring of boundaries between history, story, and theory questions the construction of those boundaries as well as the closure and linear nature of traditional narrative. If Waterland has a beginning, it is far in the geologic past, at a time when the continents began their slow journey to the positions they now occupy; however, the novel itself does not begin at this beginning. Waterland moves forward and backward through geologic, historic, and biographic time. By denying the linearity and absolute authority of historical narrative, Swift leaves room for rupture and revision, for stories and nostalgia. The historical and biographical accounts provide a context for the philosophy and theory that the narrator interjects throughout the novel; the philosophy and theory facilitate the leaps in time between geologic, historic, and biographic past. Swift's mingling of (what appears to be) a "real" geologic history of the fens and the fictional accounts of the Crick and Atkinson families blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction, turning history into fiction and placing fiction within a "real" historical account. (footnote 1) Waterland, as a novel, makes the same proposal that Tom Crick makes to his class: to discover and reveal the purpose of history by telling a story.
The study of semiotics shows that language is the primary mediator in the construction of reality. All systems of signification are dependent on language, and the development of subject position is determined through the act of speaking. (footnote 2) In a discussion of language functions, Fredric Jameson d...
... middle of paper ...
... Tom Crick are purely fictional; however, the possibility remains that they may be fictionalized biographical incidents based on events that occurred to or are known by the author, Graham Swift. This further complicates the blurring of boundaries between fiction and "reality."
See the work of Jacques Lacan and Emile Benveniste.
I am not limiting Tom Crick's subject position to only three possibilities; I only offer these as three possibilities from a multiplicity.
I am fascinated by the idea of Sarah Atkinson's stories and have been telling myself her possible stories. Were her mysterious "appearances" Sarah's stories come to life because she could not "tell" them? Did she find another way to articulate her stories? Did she hear the stories others told and (re)tell them, inserting herself into the narrative?
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Graham Swift's Waterland In Graham Swift’s Waterland, Tom Crick says, “Children, it was one of your number, a curly-haired boy called Price… who once… asserted roundly that history was ‘a fairy-tale’… ‘What matters… is the here and now. Not the past… The only important thing about history, I think, sir, is that it’s got to the point where it’s probably about to end’”(6,7). It is very likely that we all have come to a point in our education, at one time or another, where we have encountered sentiments similar to those of Price.... [tags: Waterland Graham Swift Essays]
1160 words (3.3 pages)
- History is the study of past events. In his novel Waterland, Graham Swift entwines the past with the present to create a cyclical rhythm, which flows through the narrative. The narrative explores the notion of temporality and explains that instead of time following a linear pattern, it is, in fact, a circle, which moves in into itself, representing the past, the present, and the future. Chapters often end in the middle of a sentence, then picked up at the beginning of the following chapter, suggesting not only the continuity of the story, but the course of history.... [tags: narrative, history, tom crick]
1197 words (3.4 pages)
- Analyzing the Characters of Waterland In "Waterland" Swift weaves a magical yet haunting tale of ordinary characters who live through they’re own struggles and problems unadorned by the complexity of world history yet forever revolving around the isolated and mysterious Fenns. His characters are a formidable mix of the stereotyped and the unordinary as he shows us how even the most common person can lead the strangest and most complex life and display a vast range of opposed emotions and thoughts.... [tags: Waterland Essays]
1909 words (5.5 pages)
- An influential leader, William Franklin Graham Jr. was born November 7, 1918 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is known to be called Billy Graham. His parents are William and Morrow Graham. Graham is the oldest of four children and was raised on a farm. Graham’s parents were Calvinist so from the beginning, Graham was guided on a spiritual path. When Graham was 16 years old he sat in a meeting that evangelist Mordecai Ham speaking. In the meeting, Ham’s preaching of sin got through to Graham. After high school, Graham headed to Tennessee to be in a Christian school, named Bob Jones College.... [tags: Influential Leader, Biography, Billy Graham]
1136 words (3.2 pages)
- In today’s society, Effective leaders are essential to an organization and exceptional leadership techniques impact the success of reaching goals. Most important leaders often viewed and analyzed as a key component of an organization improperly trained leader can cause both moral and costly negative consequences. Even though unprepared leaders lead in our community today, Billy Graham’s leadership style and communication skills affected the United States because he exhibits characteristic of a leader.... [tags: Leadership, Billy Graham, Evangelicalism]
919 words (2.6 pages)
- Everyone knows Alexander Graham Bell, the man behind the creative invention; the telephone. Not only was the telephone one of the biggest invention in the history of America, but it was the most successful one as well. During Graham Bell’s time period, the only way you could communicate to others was by writing letters which had usually taken about a week to get delivered due to the lack of transportation. While amused by Alexander, creation of the first telephone, he also created something to help deaf people.... [tags: Alexander Graham Bell, Telephone]
908 words (2.6 pages)
- Biography of Billy Graham and His Accomplishments in His Career "This is the Hour of Decision with Billy Graham, coming to you from Minneapolis Minnesota" Billy Graham, has preached to more than 210 million people through a live audience, more than anyone else in history. Not only that, but Mr. Graham has reached millions more through live televison, video and film. This has led Billy to be on the "Ten Most Admired Men in the World" from the Gallup Poll since 1955 a total of thirty-nine times. This includes thirty-two consecutive more than any other individual in the world, placing him as the most popular American for about forty years.... [tags: Billy Graham Religion Evangelism Essays]
4591 words (13.1 pages)
- Power and Powerlessness of Individuals in Brighton Rock and The Third Man by Graham Greene The "Third Man" and "Brighton Rock" are texts that share similar characteristics in the sense that there are three central characters in both storylines. The characters can also be matched between the texts. Pinkie Brown is similar to Harry Lime, Holly Martins is similar to Ida Arnold and Rose is similar to Anna. The relationships between the characters are also similar. The characters of Pinkie/Harry are the villains' in their separate stories.... [tags: Compare Contrast Graham Greene ]
1422 words (4.1 pages)
- Graham Greene's The Human Factor "Love was a total risk. Literature had always so proclaimed it. Tristan, Anna Karenina, even the lust of Lovelace - he had glanced at the last volume of Clarissa ." People are torn apart from one another simply because of a lack of understanding or a difference in each individual's definition of life. The highest hopes, dreams, and aspirations of one person may be trivial in the eyes of another. The way that one would define love, good, and evil could very well be the exact opposite of another's definition.... [tags: Graham Greene Human Factor]
1209 words (3.5 pages)
- In chemistry and in physics, the movement of particles becomes very important. One way in which particles move is through effusion. The formula for the rate of effusion of gas molecules was developed by a chemist by the name of Thomas Graham in the 19th century. December 21, 1805�September 16, 1869. Thomas Graham was born in December of 1805 in Glasgow, Scotland. His father was a workman who desired that his son enter the Church of Scotland. However, Graham became a student at the University of Glasgow in 1819, where he became interested in the field of chemistry.... [tags: physics chemistry graham grahams law]
619 words (1.8 pages)