Comparison of Living Like Weasels and Nature

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Omar Hashani
Block C
14-3-11
Comparison of Living Like Weasels and Nature

Transcendentalists were a group of Romantics in the 1800’s led by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and was considered to be an idealism that many writers of the time believed in, and many stories were based on the core beliefs of this idealism. We know that one of the core beliefs is that understanding all that exists in the universe, known and unknown, such as God, ones self, and the world, one must single handedly transcend normal, everyday human experiences in the physical world and go through spiritual enlightenment that many may never experience. Knowing this gives us a better understanding of these two literary pieces, the message behind them, and how they express such message. In both stories, Living Like Weasels, by Annie Dillard, and Nature, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the core beliefs of Transcendentalism are expressed in different ways.

“Living Like Weasels” is a modern take on Transcendentalism, showing that this ideology is still in place nowadays. Annie Dillard writes about her experience whilst in her cabin house in Virginia. Her experience that transcended the norm was shared with a weasel, oddly enough. Her story is not full of adventure and suspense, or full of exuberant colors and literary images, but instead, would be considered rather strange by most reading this, oblivious to transcendentalism and what it stands for. Dillard starts by writing about her respect for weasels and their power and determination for life, giving examples and stories of great feats accomplished by these animals. She only then starts to write about her specific encounter with a weasel after expanding on her description of her surroundings. She claims to have turned around while sitting on a downed log because of a flying bird only to see a weasel staring directly at her, with piercing black eyes. Dillard begins to then write about her unearthly experience with this animal and how they could see into...
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