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Annie Dillard "From an American Childhood"

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Writing Rhetoric

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of Annie Dillard "From an American Childhood"

Annie Dillard Quiz
1. Discuss Dillard's account of the polyphemus moth. First discuss, the story with the moth, but then go deeper. How did Dillard describe the moth? How did she describe the teacher? What commentary is she trying to make?

2. Write on Dillard's interaction with bugs. How did she collect and archive them? How did she describe them? How did she describe the butterfly incident? What does her language reveal about her feelings?

3. Recount Dillard's writing on maps and mapping. How does this relate to essay? What broader themes is she trying to extract from her experience? Quiz Review
Moth description? What kind of deeper themes is she exploring?

Dillard n' bugs: How does she describe them. How does she recount the butterfly incident? What does this reveal? ON CRAFT

1. Diction: word choice
How does Dillard's diction during specific scenes construct an overarching tone?
-The boy scene
-The moth being released
-The birds hatching 3. Using the text
We talked about mapping and how Dillard uses the text to pinpoint herself and her experiences. Cognitive Cartography
Mapping...Why this is interesting

How does Dillard use the metaphor
of mapping?

What other places does she apply it in? Avoid dichotomies

Character presentation (Dillard)


Human beings (teacher) Some major themes
Nature & Childhood
But, WHAT, specifically about nature and childhood?

How does Dillard use an experience to construct a deeper meaning? Prompt 2

Write about an interaction you had with nature as a child or adolescent. Be descriptive and detailed. Include sensory details like smells, sights, and sounds. Let these details construct an overarching tone within the text. Avoid the use of abstract verbs. Let the details convey the emotion. Again, be extrememly specific. Write with a high degree of exactitude. But also, let these specific details portray a broader tone. 2. Character Construction
How does she portray the teacher? How do you
know her feelings about the teacher?
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