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The Expedition to the Poles by Annie Dillard

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Brina Truong

on 28 May 2015

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Transcript of The Expedition to the Poles by Annie Dillard

An Expedition to the Pole by Annie Dillard
Created by: Brina Truong
Overall, this chapter from Teaching a Stone to Talk is about Annie Dillard's imagination at church as a child.
Overall, An Expedition to the Poles by Annie Dillard provides great examples that are juxtaposed to create a connection in order to show that the people, like the expeditioners, are searching for something not there.
The Author's Style
commonly uses her curiosity of God and nature to describe our humanity and life

repeated images/tones/themes:
curiosity of God
destructive nature by our hands
feelings of our existence
thoughts of despair VS beauty of nature
The Author's Technique
She divides the chapter into 3 main sub-sections: the land, the people, and the technology.
The Land
her imagination at church as a child where she goes to the pole and tries to find something that is inaccessible
The People
search for God and had full faith in God
The Technology
history and technology used by expeditioners
uses a sarcastic voice insult the Mass
uses juxtaposition to create the tone of confusion
often uses flash forwards and flashbacks to explain an event happening in the present
The Author's Value
Religion: Christian
However, constantly questions the way of God
Values the purity of nature
uses silence to create a open-minded environment
The People
The Land
The Technology
Text to Text Connection
Margaret Atwood's Poems
use contrasting themes (Atwood: order VS chaos and Dillard: thoughts of despair VS beauty of nature
Atwood uses contrasting themes such as civilization VS wilderness, order VS chaos, and romanticism VS realism.
Annie Dillard commonly expresses her curiosity of God, destructive nature by our hands, and feelings of our existence.
Examples of Connections
"Every Sunday for a year I have n away from home and joined the circus as a dancing bear" (Dillard 37)
show how both the people in church and the people on the expedition to the pole are trying to find something inaccessible, pure, and imaginary
question's God's methods

" I do not pretend to understand, these people- all the people in all the ludicrous churches- have access to the land" (Dillard 36)
has syntax and imagery to show how Annie Dillard questions people's faith in things that are imaginary and does not understand how these people can have faith in something that is not visibly there, "we kept dropping our forepaws" could be inferred that she is losing faith in God
"It is that point of spirit farthest from every accessible point of spirit in all directions" (Dillard 37)
saying that God is inaccessible to us

"Peary Henson reached the North Pole in 1909, had nowhere to go" (Dillard 36)
Showed that although he reached his destination he did not reach the destination he desired

"Like others, it is a Pole of the Most Trouble. It is also- I take this as given- the ole of great price" (Dillard 37)
the use of long continuing sentences with lots of connecting hyphens puts emphasis on the broke sentences
broken sentences emphasize Annie Dillard's confusion of why the people and expeditioners seek something they know is inaccessible

The whole chapter shows how the use of literary devices such as imagery, syntax, and metaphors in the separate three sections: the land, the people, and the technology, are connected although they talk about two different topics.
a bit similar in that the works from Annie Dillard (Heaven and Earth in Jest) show how nature and God can coexist
Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer by Margaret Atwood
the pioneer is in a prison and at the center of a limitless nature where in the middle of nowhere the fences are no defense for the nature, however, he recognizes chaos and searches for an answer but got no answer in return leaving nature to triumph

"everything is getting in" - chaos is uncontrollable
"the green vision, the unnamed whale invaded" - nature triumphs

shows the paradox that the pioneer is in a prison and the fact the he recognizes chaos

"It is for the Pole of Relative Inaccessibility I am searching, and have been searching" (Dillard 62)
how everybody is searching for something that they do not know exist and only have faith that it is there

"I have a taste for solitude, and silence" (Dillard 66)
silence represents God and how God is not communicating with the people
Full transcript