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 Dillard think is the reason for so many forms of insects?

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

3. What does Dillard say hinders people from experiencing the now?

4. What does Dillard believe about nature and change?

5. What does the author say the future is?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Dillard recalls what a woman recently told her, "'Seem like we're just set down here...and don't nobody know why."' What do you think this saying means?

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

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

5. What does Dillard believe about flowing water?

6. 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?

7. The first section of Chapter 8 is titled, "Intricacy." What might this title mean and how does Dillard's writing change to reflect this?

8. What is her purpose in the mimicking?

9. What does Dillard mean by the phase, "sinking into her center?" How does she use this technique?

10. How does Dillard believe her time at Tinker Creek has helped her?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In chapter three, "Winter," Dillard suggests that with or without human interference, nature continues to exist. What do you think she meant by this? Give two examples and explain why the examples illustrate this principle.

Essay Topic 3

In this first section of chapter ten, which is titled "Fecundity," Dillard ponders the difference between the excess of plants versus that of animals. Throughout the book she has discussed various ways in which some creatures procreate. She also writes about human reaction to the proliferation of plants versus animals, especially insects. Discuss at least three of the animals Dillard has mentioned and their reproductive methods. Why do you think humans would find overwhelming plant reproduction less repugnant than animal reproduction?

(see the answer keys)

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