The Writing Life Test | Final 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. Why did Dillard feel that an author must visit her work every day?

2. What question did Dillard ask Glenn that he answered with the story of Ferrar?

3. What did Dillard notice most in the Washington cabin she wrote in?

4. At the island on Haro Strait, why would a man overboard die within ten minutes?

5. What kept the teakettle that Dillard used in a faculty lounge from whistling?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What was Glenn's story about Ferrar Burn?

4. Why does Dillard compare a writer writing a first draft to a Zulu warrior and an Aztec maiden?

5. The next-to-last sentence of Chapter 5 reads, 'Shall we go rowing again, we who believe we may indeed row off the edge and fall?' What does this refer to?

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

7. Why does Dillard say it makes more sense to write one big book than to write many stories or essays?

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

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

10. In Chapter 4, Dillard's typewriter erupted. What was the damage done?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How is the sensation of writing an unmerited grace, a new idea likened to a chicken laying an egg, as Einstein is to have said? If the gift of writing is handed to you if you look for it, how does Dillard believe you find it?

Essay Topic 2

What is meant by Thoreau's statement to "know your own bone"? How is this advice helpful to a writer?

Essay Topic 3

Describe Dillard's reasoning behind why it makes more sense to write one long book rather than many stories or essays. Use the comparison of book chapters to short stories in your explanation.

(see the answer keys)

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