The story began when she went to Hollins Pond which is a remarkable place of shallowness where she likes to go at sunset and sit on a tree trunk. Dillard traced the motorcycle path in all gratitude through the wild rose up in to high grassy fields and while she was looking down, a weasel caught her eyes attention; he was looking up at her too. The weasel was ten inches long, thin as a curve, a muscled ribbon, brown as fruitwood, soft-furred, and alert. They exchanged the glances as two lovers or deadly enemies. But after one week she realized that she was not dreaming and she tried to memorize what she saw.
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In the essay, Dillard encounters a wild weasel in the forest for the first time in her life. When they spot each other, they both freeze, and Annie Dillard gives us an insight to her racing mind during this moment through what she writes and what stylistic techniques she uses when writing paragraph fifteen on page in the book Ten On Ten.
This sentence in particular is one of the two longest sentences of the passage, which Dillard probably did on purpose to highlight the changing between the dreams and when she comes back to reality. The placement of this paragraph is right after the climax when she first encounters the weasel and she is overthinking the moment. Her diction is informal rather than formal because she is just thinking in this paragraph and she wants her readers to understand her thoughts through informal, concrete diction.
Her diction can also be classified as either general or specific. She begins the paragraph as general diction as she introduces her reflections to her readers, but as the paragraph goes on, she becomes more specific with her words as she digs deep into her thoughts about the weasel. Dillard mixes her sentence forms between grammatical, rhetorical, and functional. I should have gone for the throat.
Could two live under the wild rose, and explore by the pond, so that the smooth mind of each is as everywhere present to the other, and as received and as unchallenged, as falling snow?
It is very obvious in this particular passage that Dillard makes her readers feel as though they are living inside her brain with her thoughts rushing around by how she has choppy sentences and varies her sentence lengths. This is most obvious by how she ends the paragraph with questions in her thoughts.
Annie Dillard ' Living Like Weasels" Summary and Response
It is commonly believed that humans are the only animals with souls. The arrangement in this piece is very effective. The story opens with some background information about weasels, including a story of an eagle that was discovered to have a weasel skull attached to it. Next, the piece moves into a personal narrative of an experience with a weasel, and then the background information and the story of the eagle are alluded to in the conclusion. By reconnecting the seemingly unrelated background story from the beginning of the piece to the conclusion, the conclusion seems as if it is drawn from more than one just experience with a weasel, and thus, the conclusion becomes stronger.
The thing is to stalk your calling in a certain skilled and supple way, to locate the most tender and live spot and plug into that pulse. Who knows what he thinks? He sleeps in his underground den, his tail draped over his nose. Sometimes he lives in his den for two days without leaving.
Living Like Weasels by Annie Dillard
It starts in when she was five. She grew up in Pittsburgh in the 50s in "a house full of comedians. Her father taught her many useful subjects such as plumbing, economics, and the intricacies of the novel On the Road , though by the end of her adolescence she begins to realize neither of her parents is infallible. In her autobiography, Dillard describes reading a wide variety of subjects including geology, natural history, entomology, epidemiology, and poetry, among others.