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Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Chapter 15 of the Academic Decathlon Reading for 2014
by

Anastasia Maltsev

on 4 November 2014

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Transcript of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Summary
Important Things to Note
Theme
&
Morals
Anecdote #1 (The Bee)
Roman belief that the echo of a voice can kill a bee
Dillard decides to try it, but find that the myth isn't true
Anecdote #2 ("Heave Shoulder")
Ancient Hebrew ritual of "heave shoulder"
Instead of being gentle/reverent, a priest throws the offering at the altar
Dillard finds this fitting for God and nature because often the beautiful things of the world are offered up violently
God's attention is only warrented when there is c
Anecdote #3 ("Waters of Separation")
Another Hebrew ritual
A red cow is burned, and then the ashes are combined with running water
This creates the "Waters of Separation"
Anyone who is sprinkled/submerged in this water is purified
Tinker Creek is Dillard's source of purifying "Water of Separation"
A Pilgrim's Journey
Dillard feels as though she is a pilgrim that was journeying for a sign, and actually receives one.
A maple tree bends towards her in the breeze
Imagery
Most of this book is made up of images of Tinker Creek and the surrounding area as well as historical/scientific context, and this is no exception.
Any page you flip to, there is an example of imagery.
Explanation of Title
Does God Notice Us?
Dillard comes to the conclusion that the only way God notices what is wrong with the world and needs attention by something bad happening
-Only bad things will bring about change
Moral of the Story
Don't be a bystander in life, but take part and learn as much as you can
Unlock the wonders of the universe and enjoy life
Moral Continued
We, as humans, have to devour every moment of our lives and experience everything
Allusion to Ralph Waldo Emerson and his idea of the world being an apple that we must gorge ourselves with
by Annie Dillard
Chapter 15-
The Waters of Separation

Dillard explains the title of the chapter, "The Waters of Separation" through a series of anecdotes about myths and rituals.
The third anecdote given, "The Waters of Separation," explains the reason for the title and how Tinker Creek revitalizes Dillard and gives her peace, prosperity, and purity, like this Hebrew Ritual.
Full transcript