Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is, on the surface, a stream of consciousness journey through the natural world around Tinker Creek. What does "stream of consciousness" writing entail? In your answer address plot, characterization and theme.

Stream of consciousness is a writing technique that shows the thoughts and feelings of a character as they occur. In psychology it is considered to be the experience of an individual that might be "seen" as a continuous series of images and ideas going through the conscious mind.

2. This book alternately uplifts and depresses the sensitive reader. What did you find uplifting about the first chapter? Depressing?

The no-holds-barred look at both the beauty and the ugliness of the natural world is both uplifting and depressing. Peering closely at a frog, the author watches as it dissolves before her eyes, leaving only the skin floating. A giant water beetle had sucked out the innards of the frog. Dillard had once seen a mockingbird make a dive bomb towards the grass, making a feather light landing at the last moment. Upon witnessing the bird, Dillard decides that beauty and grace both occur.

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