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 early Eskimos love winter?

2. If you could watch the unfolding through time of every thing that ever existed on Earth, what does Dillard say you would see?

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

4. Why did Indians used grooved arrows?

5. Even though she is no scientist, what did Dillard decide she will do in her valley?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is her purpose in the mimicking?

2. 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?

3. What does Dillard say about the trauma of people blind since birth who get their sight?

4. 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?

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

6. Describe Dillard's visit to a horse ranch and what happened.

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

8. In Chapter 11, Dillard is mimicking a group of people. Who is she mimicking and why? How do you know this?

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

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

"Seeing," is the title of chapter two because the author realizes that in order to first discover and then understand, she must be able to see. What does Dillard mean by "seeing?" Is that different than "looking?" If you looked at an object would you call "seeing" it one thing and "looking" at it another? Why? What would the difference be?

Essay Topic 2

One day while hiking, Dillard comes upon a coot, a water bird, notorious for its shyness. Dillard spends a great deal of space writing about her encounter with the coot. Describe the encounter and what Dillard thinks she learned from it.

Essay Topic 3

In chapter fourteen, Dillard wants to go "northing," as a means to pare down to the essence. She will not go "northing" this year, but she will wait where she is and welcome the North wind as it scours the land around her. What do you think she means by wanting to go "northing?" Discuss both the physical aspect and the mystical or spiritual aspect of this term as Dillard uses it.

(see the answer keys)

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