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. At a ranch, Dillard drew a horse. It wasn't a good picture. Others who lived at the ranch drew great horses. Why?

2. What sport does the author play come spring?

3. When Dillard moves from describing details of creation to trying to understand more about creation what is she doing?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Dillard relate the plankton to the Eskimo learning about Christianity and to herself?

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

3. Dillard uses stories from the pre-modern Eskimo culture throughout this book. Why do you think she connects so strongly with this culture?

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

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

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

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

8. Dillard is somewhat obsessed with how creation reproduces itself and the excess with which it does so. How might this "obsession" relate to Dillard's own life or self?

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

10. This book alternately uplifts and depresses the sensitive reader. What did you find uplifting about the first chapter? Depressing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Chapter seven is about spring. Spring is not just a season to the author, but both a natural and metaphysical event. How does Dillard understand spring? How do the creatures she observes help form her opinion? Use one story she has written about spring and animals to illustrate your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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