Living Like Weasles Essay

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“That is, I don’t think I can learn from a wild animal how to live in particular—shall I suck warm blood, hold my tail high, walk with my footprints precisely over the prints of my hands?—but I might learn something of mindlessness, something of the purity of living in the physical senses and the dignity of living without bias or motive.”

In “Living Like Weasels”, the author Annie Dillard, encounters a weasel. Typically, in the animal kingdom a weasel is viewed as an unremarkable, and even disgusting animal. However, with the appearance of a weasel, Annie encounters a sort of revelation, or epiphany, about life and how it should be lived. In a particularly poignant quotation in paragraph 14, Annie says, “That is, I don’t think I can
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“Living like weasels”

Paragraph 14
Significance: Dillard is searching for an appropriate way to live.
“ I would like to learn, or remember, how to live.” She discovers the simplicity of a weasel’s life and how it lives in necessity and not by choice.
“but I might learn something of mindlessness, something of the purity of living in the physical senses and the dignity of living without bias, or motive”
She becomes so infatuated by the weasel’s lifestyle that she wants to incorporate it into her own life.
“I would like to live as I should, as the weasel lives as he should. And I suspect that for me the way is like the weasel’s…”

Rhetorically

Motif “how to live”
-Repeated to display the main concern of Dillard.

Rhetorical question
-Used as an example of what she does not mean by learning from a weasel’s life.

Metaphor-“…hating necessity and dying at last ignobly in its talons” -Emphasis how important necessity is.

Simile/ juxtaposition “I would like to live as I should, as the weasel lives as he should. And I suspect that for me the way is like the weasel’s…”

Consonance “noticing everything, remembering nothing, choosing the given…” -emphasis

Antithesis “the weasel lives in necessity and we live in choice, hating necessity and dying at last ignobly in its talons.”

Parallel sentence “but I might learn something of mindlessness, something of

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