In The Chase, Annie Dillard tells the story of a young boy who becomes obsessed with hunting rabbits. The boy spends hours every day stalking and chasing rabbits, but never seems to catch one. One day, he finally catches a rabbit and kills it. The boy is thrilled with his successful hunt, but his father is disappointed. The father tells the boy that there is more to hunting than just catching an animal. The chase is more important than the kill.
The father’s words resonate with the boy and he begins to understand what his father means. The chase becomes more important to him than the kill. He starts to see the beauty in the animals he is chasing and the joy in the act of hunting itself. The boy’s father is proud of him for understanding the true nature of the chase.
Annie Dillard’s The Chase is a beautiful story about the joy of the hunt and the importance of the chase. The boy in the story learns that the chase is more important than the kill, and his father is proud of him for understanding this. The story is a great reminder that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.
The actual chase sequence in Annie Dillard’s “The Chase” is only six paragraphs long, a rather short selection. When read by the reader, however, the passage appears to be considerably longer than simply six paragraphs. Dillard’s great use of description, details, transitions, repetition, sentence variety, parallelism, point of view, and tension are to thank for this.
The passage is further strengthened by its organization which is done in such a way that the reader is first introduced to the characters, then the setting, and finally the action. The following essay will analyze how Annie Dillard’s “The Chase” creates such an impactful short selection.
Annie Dillard’s “The Chase” begins with the introduction of the two main characters: Ben and his dog, Ring. The reader is quickly given a physical description of both Ben and Ring as well as some insight into their personalities. We learn that Ben is “a small boy” with “a big voice” while Ring is a “black-and-tan hound pup” (Dillard 1, 3).
From these descriptions, we can already tell that Ben is going to be the protagonist while Ring will be more of a side character. This is also evident in the way Dillard talks about each character. She refers to Ben by his name while she only ever uses Ring’s breed as his identifier.
The next few paragraphs are devoted to establishing the setting of the passage. The chase takes place in a small town in Virginia called Waynesboro. The time is “late afternoon on a January day” and the weather is “cold, with a hard wind blowing” (Dillard 4). We are also given a detailed description of the landscape which painted a clear picture in my mind. The town is “laid out in squares” and the streets are lined with “bare elm trees” (Dillard 4).
The action of the passage begins when Ben sees Ring chasing a rabbit. He immediately joins in and the two of them go running after the rabbit. The rabbit leads them on a chase through the town, down alleys and streets, over fences and through yards. The rabbit is finally cornered in a small shed and Ben manages to catch it. But before he can kill it, the rabbit escapes and the chase begins anew. This time, however, the roles are reversed and it is Ben who is being chased by Ring. The passage ends with Ben being caught by Ring and the two of them “tumbling together in a heap” (Dillard 6).
Annie Dillard’s “The Chase” is an excellent example of how to effectively use literary devices to create a impactful short selection. The description, details, transitions, repetition, sentence variety, parallelism, point of view, and tension all work together to create a passage that is much longer than its six paragraphs would suggest.
The organization of the passage is also well done, with the introduction of the characters, setting, and action being done in a way that keeps the reader engaged. The result is a passage that is both enjoyable to read and easy to understand.
“He pursued us, and we fled from him up the snowy Reynolds street. When I looked back at the junction, I was amazed to see that he was still following us. He was wearing city clothes: a suit and tie, as well as street shoes. Any average person would have given up after springing us into flight and making his point. This man was closing in on us. He appeared to be a thin male with a lot of energy. We were fleeing for our lives suddenly .” (105)
In The Chase, Annie Dillard gives an account of a time when she and her friends were chased by a man through the streets of Pittsburgh. The man was in city clothes and was gaining on them, but they managed to lose him. This story is a good example of how people can react differently in important situations. Some people may panic and make mistakes, while others may stay calm and think clearly. This is an important lesson to remember when you are under pressure.
Most transitions would tell the reader how much time has elapsed or how far along the chase is, but Dillard’s story goes without these markers. As a result, moments that should seem fleeting are drawn out. The lack of time markers continues into the next few paragraphs as well.
The lack of time markers is significant because it exemplifies how the excitement and fear can distort time. The chase has become so exciting and exhilarating that time has become irrelevant to the participants of the chase. The lack of time also allows the reader to feel as if they are in the moment with the characters and experiencing everything as it happens.
The chase scene is also unique because of Dillard’s use of onomatopoeia. The onomatopoeia allows the reader to feel as if they are part of the chase and witnessing it firsthand. The use of onomatopoeia makes the chase more exciting and creates a sense of urgency. The sound effects also add to the chaotic nature of the chase. The sound of the dogs barking and the men yelling adds to the feeling of disorder and confusion.
The chaotic nature of the chase is further emphasized by Dillard’s use of repetition. The repetition of the word “screaming” creates a sense of hysteria and panic. The repeated use of the word makes it clear that the participants of the chase are in a state of panic and fear. The repetition also makes it clear that the participants are not thinking clearly and are only focused on escaping the danger.