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. Chlorophyll has a single atom of what substance in the center?

2. What does Dillard say can be as blinding as complete darkness?

3. Where does Dillard makes a pilgrimage to every month?

4. Dillard sees so much in the natural world which seems paradoxical. Why?

5. She claims the ability to see what is hidden is what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the correlation Dillard sees between time and the search for God?

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

3. Up to now Dillard has tried to just "notice" creation. In Chapter 8, Section 2, her focus changes. How does her focus change and what might it symbolize?

4. Write a brief description of what Dillard knows and observes about monarch butterflies.

5. Dillard recalls what a woman recently told her, "'Seem like we're just set down here...and don't nobody know why."' What do you think this saying means?

6. What is the story that Dillard relates about the Polyphemus moth and how does it show a possible origin of her attitude towards creatures?

7. The "Present", Chapter 6 is also about time, but a very specific part of it, the "now." What are some of Dillard's thoughts on being in the present?

8. What does Dillard say about the trauma of people blind since birth who get their sight?

9. In the second section of Chapter 11, Dillard stays almost exclusively focused on one topic, seldom straying. Why do you think she is staying so focused?

10. Describe Dillard's thoughts as she looks over the creek from the bridge when it was flooded.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Up to the second section of chapter eight, Dillard has primarily described details of creation. In the second part of the chapter she moves to trying to understand more about creation, and, as such, moves from logic to mysticism. Discuss the writing she has used to show this shift from observing creation to trying to understand it. What might it mean to say this moves the author from logic to mysticism?

Essay Topic 2

In this first section of chapter ten, which is titled "Fecundity," Dillard ponders the difference between the excess of plants versus that of animals. Throughout the book she has discussed various ways in which some creatures procreate. She also writes about human reaction to the proliferation of plants versus animals, especially insects. Discuss at least three of the animals Dillard has mentioned and their reproductive methods. Why do you think humans would find overwhelming plant reproduction less repugnant than animal reproduction?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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