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. In Chapter 5 Dillard writes about finding a snake. What appeared peculiar about the snake?

3. When Dillard raps on the goldfish bowl, what does the fish do?

4. Dillard thought once that awesome artistry can be laced with savagery. To what did she refer?

5. How do blind people who suddenly gain sight usually see objects at first?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Briefly tell the story written in Chapter 15 about a young man and his mother.

3. Why do the Eskimos hunt in the fall and what can happen if they fail?

4. Part of Dillard's struggle in her observation of the natural world is how much violence she seems to encounter. How does she relate this to the Hebrew altar?

5. 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?

6. The first section of Chapter 8 is titled, "Intricacy." What might this title mean and how does Dillard's writing change to reflect this?

7. How does Dillard relate parasites to her view of life?

8. What does Dillard conclude when she attempts to "view" creation from the standpoint of God?

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

10. Why does Dillard question both the morality and the compassion of nature?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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