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

2. What does Dillard say that she thinks happens to something, such as a writing idea, that you do not give up freely and abundantly?

3. What did Emily Dickinson love best in her writing?

4. What does Dillard say that she believes a writer should aim for when writing?

5. What is the topic of an essay written by Dillard that she said she considers too obscure and too intellectual?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does a work in progress turn on its author, according to Dillard?

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

3. Who was Paul Glenn?

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

5. How does Dillard compare a writer to a Seminole alligator wrestler?

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

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

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

9. What did Dillard learn from the local ferryman?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the vision of what a projected work of art is, whether it be writing or painting. How does the vision lead one to a finished product?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

In Chapter 4, Dillard's Smith-Corona typewriter erupted in smoke and flames during an earthquake. What does the Beckett quote at the beginning of the chapter tell us about Dillard's personality or character? What could the fired-up typewriter be a metaphor for? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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