Tinker Creek Summary

1450 Words Aug 21st, 2010 6 Pages
Chapter One: ‘‘Heaven and Earth in Jest’’
The opening of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is one of the most famous passages from the book. ‘‘I used to have a cat,’’ the book begins. The narrator reports that she was in the habit of sleeping naked in front of an open window, and the cat would use that window to return to the house at night after hunting. In the morning, the narrator would awaken to find her body ‘‘covered with paw prints in blood; I looked as though I’d been painted with roses.’’

This opening passage introduces several important ideas and approaches that will operate through the entire book. Dillard insistently presents the natural world as both beautiful and cruel, like the image of roses painted in blood. She demonstrates
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She affirms her intention to push away connections with cities, with people. The flowing creek is new every second, and it is in the creek that grace can be found.

Chapter Seven: ‘‘Spring’’
Spring unfolds through April and May, and the narrator has missed spring’s beginning. Plants are greening and flowering, and hibernating animals are reappearing. The narrator feels an urgency to examine every creature quickly before summer comes and they begin to decay and devour each other.

Chapter Eight: ‘‘Intricacy’’
This chapter contains more meditation than anecdote. In June, the narrator ponders the smallest things—red blood cells in a goldfish’s tail, blooming plankton, the horsehair worm, molecules, and atoms. In the intricacy of the universe, she finds confirmation of God’s presence and plan: ‘‘Beauty itself is the fruit of the creator’s exuberance that grew such a tangle.’’

Chapter Nine: ‘‘Flood’’
Like many of Dillard’s chapter titles, ‘‘The Flood’’ is meant to be taken both literally and figuratively. This chapter, which opens with the first day of summer, describes an actual flooding of
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