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. What body of water did Dillard write near in Washington State?

2. When Dillard left her cabin for home in Chapter 5 during a northeaster, how was she feeling, walking down the beach?

3. What did Dillard study in Chapter 5?

4. What does Dillard say she believes poets and novelists like?

5. How do Tibetan lamas keep from floating away, as described in Chapter 5?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. In Chapter 5, how does Dillard compare a writer to a tennis player?

5. Who was Paul Glenn?

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

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

8. When Dillard mentions that Thoreau's firewood warmed him twice because he labored to cut his own wood, why does she say that her wood froze her twice?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is wood-splitting a metaphor for in Chapter 3? What did Dillard learn besides how to properly split wood?

Essay Topic 2

Dillard states that "Appealing workplaces are to be avoided."

1. Why might this be true?

2. How does Dillard know this to be true for her?

3. What should a writer's workplace consist of, and why?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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