The Writing Life Test | Final Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What kept the teakettle that Dillard used in a faculty lounge from whistling?
(a) It was not a whistling teakettle.
(b) It was an electric kettle.
(c) An aluminum lid jammed over its mouth.
(d) The mouth of the kettle was always kept open.

2. What does Dillard say that she believes may well be a writer's only firsthand experience?
(a) Childhood.
(b) College.
(c) Travel.
(d) Friendships.

3. How does Dillard say that she defines the life of the writer in Chapter 3?
(a) As ludicrous.
(b) As literary.
(c) As colorless.
(d) As sensory.

4. Where was Ferrar heading as he rowed against the current all night?
(a) To Fishery Point.
(b) To the Haro Straits.
(c) Toward the San Juan Islands.
(d) Toward home.

5. What was Dillard's painter neighbor, Glenn, working on for six months in Chapter 6?
(a) Landscapes painted by dripping paint on canvas.
(b) Dipping papers into vats of colored oil on water.
(c) Painting over marbleized papers.
(d) Folded sculpture.

Short Answer Questions

1. How did Dillard come to understand the proper way to split wood?

2. Whose drawings and paintings did Dillard believe show his bewilderment and persistence?

3. Whose poetry did Dillard usually read aloud when on a break?

4. Who once said that '..his firewood warmed him twice because he labored to cut his own'?

5. Dillard repeated the phrase, 'It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay' over and over like a song in Chapter 5. What poem is this line from?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Dillard say that she believes a writer must control his or her own energies in order to work?

2. Why did the island on Haro Strait haunt Dillard?

3. What is ludicrous about the tea kettle in the faculty lounge of the university that Dillard wrote in?

4. What did writers such as Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Ralph Ellison, and Eudora Welty have in common when learning to write, according to Dillard?

5. How does Dillard say that she learned the correct way to split wood on the chopping block?

6. Why does Dillard advise writers not to hoard a good idea for a later place in a book being written or for another book?

7. What was unfortunate about Dillard learning how to split wood correctly?

8. What did the children who visited Dillard in Chapter 3 surprise her with?

9. Why does Dillard say that the life of the mind of a writer is hard to be called "living"?

10. What does Dillard mean in Chapter 5 by 'Probe and search each object in a piece of art'?

(see the answer keys)

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