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 is the translation of trompes-l' esprit ?

2. Dillard writes that she is an avid collector of what?

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

4. What is it about weather that Dillard believes is a phenomena worth writing about?

5. Why do birds sing?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the problem with the starlings in Chapter 3? How does the town of Radford, Virginia deal with the starlings? Were they successful?

2. What is kayak sickness?

3. 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?

4. Dillard watches a mosquito feed on a copperhead snake. What does she think of the act?

5. 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?

6. Chapter 13 continues Dillard's musing on the "dog eat dog" world especially as it relates to parasites. How does Dillard view the parasitic relationship?

7. What physics concept does Dillard use to write about observing muskrats? How does she use it?

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

9. How does Dillard believe her time at Tinker Creek has helped her?

10. Dillard spends the entire chapter dealing with the passing of a hurricane. How does the theme of "floods" relate to other parts of the book?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Dillard understands the world of predators better than that of parasites. She writes that at least one has a fighting chance when up against a predator. Why do you think she felt this way? Use examples in your discussion of the behavior of parasites and predators.

(see the answer keys)

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