APEL Practice Essay
It is fairly common for similar events to be witnessed by many different people, however, the way people think about the events range from one end of the world to the other. Two examples of this truth happen to be John James Audubon and Annie Dillard, both writers experienced seeing a flock of birds in flight, but Audubon takes a more scientific approach and Dillard conveys a more casual and awestruck message. Audubon and Dillard both share the amazement and awe felt by watching these creatures of the skies, but what separates the two pieces is Audubon’s sophisticated diction defines the piece as a scientific documentation of birds in flight by using words like, “eminence” and “inconceivable”. Audubon published his piece in “Ornithological Biographies,” which explains why such formal language was used. The passage was addressed to other ornithologists, more educated and understanding than the general audience. “I cannot describe to you the extreme beauty of their aeriel evolutions…” Audubon struck with immediate awe and wonder as the birds fly overhead. He can only think of documenting the entire event as a whole, most likely for further study and recollection. Dillard assesses the migration in a different way; in her passage from “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” she describes the flight pattern of the birds rather than the number of birds that Audubon focused on. Dillard’s casual diction conveys the extreme awe felt in the presence of the birds by using words such as “fluttering” and “bobbed”. Dillard instead doesn’t describe the event as simply “beautiful”, instead she shows us that the event was in fact a magnificent sight by painting a picture in our minds of the birds flying with long descriptive sentences concerning the flight pattern of the birds. “They seemed to unravel as they flew, lengthening in curves, like loosened skein.” Overall both Audubon and Dillard witnessed a similar event, but one conveys the awe and...
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