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 does the author believe separates humans from their creator and humans from each other?

2. How do praying mantises mate?

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

4. Why did early Eskimos love winter?

5. What is the literal act of seeing?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is kayak sickness?

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

3. What is the story that Dillard relates about the Polyphemus moth and how does it show a possible origin of her attitude towards creatures?

4. Dillard thinks about arctic explorations, which use the term "northing," to denote traveling in a northerly direction. How does she see "northing" in her own life?

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

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

7. 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?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does Dillard feel about harming creatures? What are some of the incidents from her childhood that helped formed these ideas? Do you agree with her? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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