The Deer at Providencia

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TONE:
Dillard’s tone in “The Deer at Providencia” is almost a bit disturbing and cynical. She references the suffering deer with words such as “gashed,” “bleeding,’ and “snared” (61). Yet, she displays absolutely no emotion towards the creature whatsoever. She simply goes about eating her meal, commenting on how delicious the deer tastes. All the while, she glances at the dying deer from time to time. Dillard also uses references hidden between the lines, such as "high levels of lactic acid, which build up in the muscle tissue during exertion, tenderize" (63). In this way Dillard is referencing back to the tied up deer and how its struggles and exertion tenderizes its meat. This cruel reference is slight, but if noticed, adds a tone to the piece as it implies torture. This cynical tone can be sensed especially at the end when Dillard calls the creature a “poor little thing” (66), and then takes it back when she realizes “it was a ridiculous thing to say” (66). WRITING STYLE:

Dillard has a very unique writing style unlike any other in “The Deer at Providencia.” She has the ability to be structured and informational, yet at the same time personal and captivating. Her writing makes it seem as though she is speaking to you at the moment it is read. Her piece involves many in depth descriptions of the many aspects of nature surrounding her. She made sure to go into deep, gruesome detail when describing the trapped deer. An example of this is when Dillard stated, “its hip jerked; its spine shook. Its eyes rolled; its tongue, thick with spittle, pushed in and out” (64). This portrayal of the suffering creature gives the reader an almost too detailed image of the deer. Dillard also is somewhat repetitive, but uses this to enforce her main ideas. She is not explicit with her writing, making her readers search for the message. Along with this, Dillard uses the referencing to the real life event of Alan McDonald burning to emphasize her theme. WORD CHOICE, LITERARY...
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