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 say is the way to tell winter has arrived?

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

3. According to Dillard, how is the past healed?

4. Before a baby can distinguish objects, what kind does it prefer?

5. Why do birds sing?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Dillard thinks about arctic explorations, which use the term "northing," to denote traveling in a northerly direction. How does she see "northing" in her own life?

3. How does Dillard see as the difference between plant and animal fecundity?

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

5. Describe the two ways of seeing, according to Dillard.

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

7. This very brief chapter, "Untying the Knot," is about time. What does Dillard want time to be?

8. How does Dillard feel about "shadows?" What does she write to show those feelings?

9. In most of this book, what does Dillard primarily see about nature and how does it affect her?

10. Dillard believes that the death of the self is painless. What might she mean by this?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Dillard often uses stories from the Eskimo culture to help her pull meaning from her observations. Discuss two of the stories Dillard has told from the Eskimo culture and their relevance to some knowledge she was trying to work through.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about praying mantis. Include Dillard's observations, her knowledge from other sources, her reactions and feeling towards praying mantis and any beliefs she may have formed because of her thoughts on this insect.

(see the answer keys)

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