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. What does Dillard's fascination and stories about praying mantises demonstrate?

2. What does Dillard suggest spring is about?

3. Dillard believes that, with indifference, nature hides what?

4. According to Dillard, the "simple" is transformed by evolution into what?

5. When Dillard is looking at a stream, where does she look?

Short Essay Questions

1. Dillard states that once one accepts the inevitability of death, the rest is easy. What might she mean by that?

2. What happens when Dillard tries to stay in the present?

3. Describe Dillard's visit to a horse ranch and what happened.

4. 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.

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

6. What does Dillard mean by the phase, "sinking into her center?" How does she use this technique?

7. In Chapter 11, Dillard is mimicking a group of people. Who is she mimicking and why? How do you know this?

8. When Dillard scrapes the wings of a couple dead butterflies, what might this symbolize?

9. 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?

10. How does Dillard relate the season, spring, to language?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Dillard questions why insects seem so violent. She includes numerous examples and personal observations illustrating what seems to be violent behavior in insects. Describe some of her examples, including the insect's specific behavior and Dillard's thoughts when writing about the insect. Do you agree with Dillard's assessment? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

The present is fleet. One barely glimpses it, and it is gone, Dillard writes. What is the present, according to the author? Why try to stay in it? How does the present compare to the past or the future? Have you ever tried to stay in the moment? Describe one situation when the author tried to stay in the now. Do you think it's possible to stay just in the now? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Describe Dillard's encounter with the circular snake skin. How did she use it in thinking about time? Do you agree with her beliefs about time? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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