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.

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A Brief Histoire of History When 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 …

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…at the past is no way of explaining the present. The past has a direct effect on our lives as we live them today. The fact that Dick felt he must leave reflects his incapacity to understand the present situation fully, where he doesn't know the extent of his past. The effects of history are shown through all the characters by their present actions or reflections, as a result of their history in the Fens.