Literary Analysis Of Annie Dillard's Living Like Weasels

Analysis of a Creative Non-Fiction Essay
In Annie Dillard’s essay “Living Like Weasels”, she questions the meaning of life based on her interaction with nature and by contrasting human and animal behavior ( Dillard talks about wanting to live more like the weasel she sees in the wild, because as she mentions, “The weasel lives in necessity and we live in choice,..” (“Living Like Weasels”, Dillard). Dillard provides a life lesson from her encounter with the weasel with her use of four artistic tools: figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and theme.
First of all, there are a couple themes in “Living Like Weasels”. One of the main ones being the theme of Quest for Identity/Coming of Age. This is because in the story, Dillard talks about the life of a weasel, and
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The two stylistic devices mostly used being metaphors and similes. For example, in the first paragraph she explains how “one naturalist refused to kill a weasel” explaining that it was “socketed into his hand deeply as a rattlesnake” (“Living Like Weasels”, Dillard). The person eventually having to “soak him off like a stubborn label” (“Living Like Weasels”, Dillard). Those being examples of a simile. She effectively uses an elaborated metaphor through the involvement of imagery. Throughout the entire essay, imagery is used to create a feeling of love instead of pain and suffering. This being another underlying literary theme. Annie uses the metaphor “was the whole weasel still attached to his feathered throat, a fur pendant?” (Dillard) to show the fearlessness of the weasel. Another example of a metaphor in the non-fiction states, “Our eyes were interlocked, and someone threw away the key” (Dillard). Annie Dillard makes the use of imagery evident through the similes and metaphors, but also when she is describing the scenery of the Hollins pond in the third

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