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. How long does it take a tree to recreate ninety-nine percent of its living parts?

2. How does Dillard visualize the present?

3. How does the author say one can obtain "unself-conscious state?"

4. How do humans insulate themselves from the present, according to the author?

5. What does Dillard find out when she takes her first course in French?

Short Essay Questions

1. Dillard believes that the death of the self is painless. What might she mean by this?

2. Why do you think this chapter could have been titled "Potential?"

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

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

6. What does Dillard believe about flowing water?

7. Dillard still rails against the seeming cruelty of nature; however, what else is she seeing by Chapter 13?

8. Describe the two ways of seeing, according to Dillard.

9. What might Dillard's fascination and stories about the praying mantis demonstrate?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

In the first part of chapter eight, the author goes into great detail about many phenomena of the natural world. Write about some of the details she has written. How has her writing changed in this chapter to reflect the theme of the intricacy of nature?

(see the answer keys)

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