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. At a ranch, Dillard drew a horse. It wasn't a good picture. Others who lived at the ranch drew great horses. Why?

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

3. How does Dillard see time?

4. What does Dillard say about humans and change?

5. What does Dillard suggest is a similarity between her and plankton?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Dillard relate the season, spring, to language?

3. Up to now Dillard has tried to just "notice" creation. In Chapter 8, Section 2, her focus changes. How does her focus change and what might it symbolize?

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

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

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

7. What is are augenblicks and how what does Dillard do with them?

8. How does Dillard muse on the "how" of creating?

9. The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is, on the surface, a stream of consciousness journey through the natural world around Tinker Creek. What does "stream of consciousness" writing entail? In your answer address plot, characterization and theme.

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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