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 find out when she takes her first course in French?

2. How do mice reach the grain at the top of a stalk?

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. In Alaska and northern Canada during winter what is a topic of continual fascination?

5. Dillard says the agnostic asks who created the universe. What does a believer ask?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. In the second section of Chapter 11, Dillard stays almost exclusively focused on one topic, seldom straying. Why do you think she is staying so focused?

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

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

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

7. Chapter One is titled, "Heaven and Earth in Jest." Why do you think this was the title chosen for this first chapter?

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

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

10. What is the correlation Dillard sees between time and the search for God?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe some of the scenes Dillard writes of from winters in her past. What had she observed that was cruel? What that was compassionate? Do you think winter lends itself more to cruel behavior than kindness? Why?

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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