Juxtaposition In God In The Doorway By Annie Dillard

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Essay 4 In “God in the Doorway” Annie Dillard recalls multiple experiences that she relates to her shift in her perception of God. She begins the narrative recounting an incident from her childhood. Dillard speaks of a cold winter night in which a neighbor dresses like Santa and makes an appearance at her house. She responds out of fear because of her understanding of Santa as a monstrous figure who exists similar to God. Dillard, as an adult, creates a connection between the Santa clause of her childhood and God by understanding them as large, judgmental figures. However, later in her life she perceives them in a different light. To convey this shift in perception Dillard employs juxtaposition, imagery, and word choice. Dillard utilizes juxtaposition to display a shift in her perception of God. When speaking about her experience with Santa Dillard …show more content…
To explain her understanding of God as a child she gives an example of Santa saying, Santa Clause stood in the doorway with night over his shoulder, letting in all the cold air of the sky;” (Dillard, 1982, p. 71) Dillard creates a feeling of despair from the expanse that resides behind the divine-like figure. She follows this thought further when recalling pain she felt from a magnifying glass held by a kind neighbor woman; Dillard states, “It burned; I was burned; I ripped my hand away and ran home crying.” (Dillard, 1982, p. 72) Dillard feels pain from another person she speaks of in the narrative named Miss White. From her childhood, she felt fear and pain from these figures; (Santa and Miss White respectively) however, she understands them differently in adulthood when she concludes, “For you meant only love, and love, and I felt only fear, and pain.” (Dillard, 1982, p. 72) She realizes that the fault did not reside with the acting figures: God, Santa, and Miss White, but instead her misconceptions causes the reactions of fear and

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