Oct 5, SUMMARY. Annie Dillard wrote “Living Like Weasels”, an essay in which she paints the story of her encounter with a weasel. She explains that. Annie Dillard – “Living Like Weasels” – Grades DRAFT – Awaiting review and improvement per the Tri-State quality review rubric. Learning Objective: The . Nov 7, Free Essay: Living like Weasels In the essay “Living like Weasels”, the author Annie Dillard wrote about her first encounter after she saw a real.

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Living Like Weasels by Annie Dillard – aplogosblog

We could, you know. Within the essay, Dillard walks the reader through her thoughts as she first encounters a weasel. We can live any way we want.

I ended up doing some further reading on this piece and found a student criticism from an NYU literary magazine. It was also a bright blow to the brain, or a sudden beating of brains, with all the charge and intimate grate of rubbed balloons.

Seize it and let it seize you up aloft even, till your eyes burn out and drop; let your musky flesh fall off in shreds, and let your very bones unhinge and scatter, loosened over fields, over fields and woods, lightly, thoughtless, from any height at all, from as high as eagles. The way humans interact with wildness–we toss beer cans and drive motorcycles and we fashion and re-fashion nature, sometimes with disregard.

The sun had just set. What are your expectations as a reader at this point early in the narrative? She encourages readers to learn from her experience with the weasel.


The quote tells us that first we have to observe our goal from a distance to ensure we have the skills necessary to accomplish it, then finally, we have to apply ourselves fully, without thinking about or carrying out anything else.

What goes on in his brain the rest of the time? Although this essay is extremely abstract, the closing message of the essay is very clear. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here A weasel doesn’t “attack” anything; a weasel lives as he’s meant to, yielding at every moment to the perfect freedom of single necessity.

It is a five-minute walk in three directions to rows of houses, though none is visible here. I was relaxed on the tree trunk, ensconced in the lap of lichen, watching the lily pads at my feet tremble and part dreamily over the thrusting path of a carp. The weasel is less of a fable character and more of a holy figure. He exists for a single perfect moment, much like the way we depict angels as stationary, hyper-perfect beings.

Living Like Weasels by Annie Dillard

Dillard elevates the most repulsive of animals to a holy icon, and the choice is deliberate. I remember muteness as a prolonged and giddy fast, where every moment is a feast of utterance received. For instance, we know by the turn in Dillard’s narrative–paragraph three– without Dillard coming right out and saying so that the qualities or realities that characterize a wild weasel will define Dillard’s life and ours as human beings in some way in the rest of the story.

He had two black eyes I didn’t see, any more than you see a window. Down is a good place to go, where the mind is single. I would like to live as I should, as the weasel lives as he should.


We keep our skulls. I come to Hollins Pond not so much to learn how to live as, frankly, to forget about it. By describing this moment in her life, the reader of this story is able to immediately recognize the differences between the life of a weasel and the life of a human.

Notify me of new comments via email. As Dillard continues with her story, she describes a time when she visited a pond close to her house. I love the whole criticismbut especially this excerpt: I would like to have seen that eagle from the air a few weeks or months before he was shot: He examined the eagle and found the dry skull of a weasel fixed by the jaws to his throat.

I could very calmly go wild. And I suspect that for me the way is like the weasel’s: What is the purpose of the two anecdotes–the story of the “naturalist” and the story of the “eagle”?

A yellow bird appeared to my right and flew behind me. The far end is an alternating series of fields and woods, fields and woods, threaded everywhere with motorcycle tracks–in whose bare clay wild turtles lay eggs.