Annie Dillard’s “The Chase” is written to inspire within the first paragraph the major gender stereotype that “girls can’t play with let alone as well as boys” is eradicated. Annie not only plays with the boys but she is welcomed at all sports, because of her “boy’s arm”. Dillard’s thesis is explicitly stated. “The point was that he had chased us passionately without giving up, and so he had caught us. ”
This thesis is simply woven throughout the story from the beginning with the vague football reference of living life to the fullest extent possible. “… f you flung yourself wholeheartedly at the back of his knees – if you gathered and joined body and soul and pointed them diving fearlessly then you likely wouldn’t get hurt, and you’d stop the ball. Your fate, and you team’s score, depended on you concentration and courage. ”
Annie Dillard uses the point of view from her childhood self but also includes the knowledge and vocabulary of an adult writer. In the beginning of the actual chase she writes plainly. Dillard uses simple diction and sentence structure showing a little girl’s perspective. “It made a smashed star with a hump in the middle. As the chase progresses, both the diction and the sentence structure become more advanced. “He impelled us forward; we compelled him to follow our route. ”
Many times throughout “The Chase” juxtaposes contradictory words, in order to bring together her adult and child perspective; many of which pertain to the man chasing her. “… our pursuer our captor, our hero… ” “… this sainted, skinny, furious red-headed man… ” I for one am not a fan of this particular piece. I felt like the story was too simple, and the author bluntly stating the thesis/moral was a major factor in my dislike for it.
I did experience some joy when reading the story. I was reminded of times when I played games for sport rather then bragging rights. If I could talk to Dillard now I would ask her if I’m correct in my theory of the juxtaposed vocabulary. I do not share the author’s perspective on life. I do however appreciate the way I was taken thought the story so flawlessly with her exceptional writing which is hard because there was little dialogue. The use of cream puffs to describe the cars was particularly amusing to me.