Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did Xerxes stop the advance of his entire army?

2. What did the animal in question #1 often leave on Dillard's nightgown?

3. What changes about the view around Dillard's home when winter comes?

4. Dillard opens this first chapter remembering this animal.

5. What does Dillard believe is healing?

Short Essay Questions

1. This Chapter is called "Fixed." What are some of Dillard's observations and thoughts that illustrate this title?

2. Dillard discusses the concept of the world as being "old and ragged." How does she relate that to the natural world and her own life?

3. Dillard remembers once seeing migrating Canadian geese fly, speeding across the duck pond which leads her to think what?

4. Dillard writes a mystical account of a real encounter with a goldfinch. Briefly describe what she wrote.

5. Why do you think the story about the coot might be significant?

6. Why do you think this chapter could have been titled "Potential?"

7. In Chapter 12, Dillard observes the world at night. Considering the grasshoppers leads her into thoughts of locusts. How did early people see locusts, and where does Dillard's thoughts on them lead?

8. How does Dillard muse on the "how" of creating?

9. What story does Dillard tell about a Native American woman and winter?

10. Dillard still rails against the seeming cruelty of nature; however, what else is she seeing by Chapter 13?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Chapter One is title, "Heaven and Earth in Jest." What do you think Dillard meant by this title? What might be the jest? Does it seem true to you?

Essay Topic 2

In the final chapter of the book, the reader can see that in attempting to understand the natural world, the author is attempting to understand its creator. How does Dillard blend her observations of the natural world with what becomes of her beliefs in a creator? Use some of her writing to illustrate your ideas.

Essay Topic 3

Describe some of the scenes Dillard writes of from winters in her past. What had she observed that was cruel? What that was compassionate? Do you think winter lends itself more to cruel behavior than kindness? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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