Annie Dillard's "The Chase"

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2/17/12

English 101

Critical Analysis #1

Annie Dillard’s essay, “The Chase”, uses many rhetorical elements in the thesis to reach her audience; some of these include parataxis, climax, and hyperbole. In the essay Dillard states that “The point was that he had chased us passionately without giving up, and so he had caught us.” This helps clarify the thesis as, childhood is a playful time and adults should maintain a playful spirit.

“The Chase” is about the author and her neighborhood friends throwing snow balls at cars one winter day. The day was going well and without trouble, no adults were bothering their fun, until someone hit a black Buick that was driving down the street. The man in the car then stopped the car and got out and started to chase the children. The man chased them through hedges, down streets, every backyard and block after block. At this point it was only Dillard and her friend Mikey running from the man because the other children when their separate ways. Eventually the man caught them because the children grew tired. The man only said “You stupid kids.” Dillard describes this statement as “redundant, a mere formality.” Dillard believes the point of the chase was that the man chased them passionately, without giving up, and all he did was say those three words she will never forget.

Dillard uses many rhetorical elements to help prove the thesis, one of these is climax. She uses this element to keep a suspenseful mood for the reader wanting and waiting to see what happens next. An example of this in the story is when the black Buick was coming down the street and when the car makes it to them they unleash snowballs at the car. The example of climax in this part of the story is when the driver starts to open the door; this is a climax because the reader is waiting to see what happens and starts asking questions in their head like what is the driver going to do?, is he going to hurt the kids or is he just going to yell at...
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