Teaching a Stone to Talk
Annie Dillard’s Teaching a Stone to Talk is a very famous book that is completely filled with different essays she has written over a period of time. The two essays that really bring forth an enormous amount of information and contrast is “Total Eclipse” and “Aces and Eights.” The two essays are the first and last installments in Dillard’s collection. One links different ideas using language, communication and expression whereas the other is discussing the awareness of time. Both essays relate back to life and how important it is not to waste our precious lives worrying and not living to our full potential.
The essay “Total Eclipse” written by Annie Dillard
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When Dillard gets there, she has to see how the villagers kill the “small, pretty, thin-skinned” deer by having a rope around the poor deer’s neck making it unable for him to escape the trap (557). The villagers however come from a very different lifestyle than Dillard and the three North American men. After seeing the deer suffer, she eats lunch in the village and tells the others that she seems them looking at the deer that suffers and no one says anything about it. Dillard is confronted with a question to the men on if they are surprised to see the animal suffering and if they want to do anything about it. The scene of the deer however is the most important to consider from this essay because it offers a true experience that connects with emotion and later draws out the basis for Dillard’s overall point on suffering. Dillard also discusses Alan McDonald and how she sees him every morning when she wakes up. This example of suffering doesn’t deal with animals but with people and gives a real personal experience that we could go through. In this short essay, Dillard connects with the reader in a way that’s moving and relatable. Although some see her in this essay as contradicting, most readers see her as logical. Not only does Dillard suggest different ways people view suffering, but she also rises questions on the