Outlook on Life in Annie Dillard’s Essay “Total Eclipse”

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Based on Annie Dillard’s account of witnessing a total eclipse in her essay “Total Eclipse” I would have to say she definitely encourages her readers to witness a total eclipse. She says that it is almost the opposite of a partial eclipse, which I am sure most people have seen many times before, that’s how different they are and I believe most people including myself think partial eclipses are spectacular and almost dreamlike.

The opening line in “Total Eclipse” is “It had been like dying, that sliding down the mountain pass” (477). Annie Dillard is describing traveling through the mountains and down into the Yakima Valley and how she feels this place is so strange because it is all new to her. This gives you an idea of Annie Dillard’s
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It bears almost no relation to seeing a total eclipse as […] flying in an airplane does to falling out of an airplane” (480). As I have both flown in an airplane and fallen out of a perfectly good airplane and deeply enjoyed the latter it makes me think that one like myself, an adventurous adrenaline seeker, would really like to see a total eclipse. It would be a totally new experience, anyone would want to experience something so out of the ordinary.

One thing Dillard says that could impact the reader’s feelings about seeing a total eclipse would be how she says “God save us” (482). What does Dillard want to be saved from, before this she is describing the movement of the sun into the final phase of the total eclipse almost as if she is dieing because all the colors around her are changing, turning from green to black and gray because of the lack of sun. Why would Dillard ask God to save her? Is she scared because this total eclipse is unknown to her having never experienced it? Some people might say why would I want to see something that is related to something like death, and I believe that one would want to witness such an event because death is something you can only participate in once because after you have you are only existent in people’s memories. Inquisitiveness would overrule any other feeling for many people and would be a point to fortify that the reader would want to see a total eclipse even more so because the experience of
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