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. Chlorophyll has a single atom of what substance in the center?

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

4. Why do the male praying mantis come near the female?

5. Dillard wrote, "the present is fleet." What did she mean by this statement?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

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

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

4. What is her purpose in the mimicking?

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

6. Write a brief description of what Dillard knows and observes about monarch butterflies.

7. What does Dillard conclude when she attempts to "view" creation from the standpoint of God?

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

9. Why do you think the story about the coot might be significant?

10. Chapter 13 continues Dillard's musing on the "dog eat dog" world especially as it relates to parasites. How does Dillard view the parasitic relationship?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In chapter fourteen, Dillard wants to go "northing," as a means to pare down to the essence. She will not go "northing" this year, but she will wait where she is and welcome the North wind as it scours the land around her. What do you think she means by wanting to go "northing?" Discuss both the physical aspect and the mystical or spiritual aspect of this term as Dillard uses it.

Essay Topic 2

In the final chapter of the book, the reader can see that in attempting to understand the natural world, the author is attempting to understand its creator. How does Dillard blend her observations of the natural world with what becomes of her beliefs in a creator? Use some of her writing to illustrate your ideas.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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