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. Dillard wrote, "the present is fleet." What did she mean by this statement?

2. What did Dillard do at one time about insects as a child?

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

4. How were Starlings are introduced to America from Europe?

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

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. 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?

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

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

7. Describe Dillard's thoughts as she looks over the creek from the bridge when it was flooded.

8. How is the story about the caddisfly applicable to Dillard's obsession with the present?

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

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

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 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

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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