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The Wreck Of Time, By Annie Dillard

1467 words - 6 pages

In her essay “The Wreck of Time” Annie Dillard explains about the significance of an individual and how a person determines the significance of the self. Dillard analyzes about the points where the human race becomes insignificant or the importance of the population become questionable throughout the history. She is trying to evoke the reader to question about his/her vitality in the world. Tim O’Brien illustrates about the element of a true war story and what makes a war story true, in his work “How to Tell a True War Story.” A soldier’s war story will not be the exact story of a war. A soldier’s war story is a collection of how the soldier perceives each war experiences. It is also not correct to assume that every soldier’s war story will be the same, because every person has different thoughts and emotions regarding an experience. From all the experience he had on the war front, a soldier will include the experience that is remarkable for him. O’Brien illustrates how these remarkable experiences are chosen by the soldier. In his novel “Into the Wild” Jon Krakauer analyzes about the Chris McCandless’s journey to Alaska and purpose of this journey. McCandless could have searched for his own self by staying in the social world where he lived. He disconnects all his links with the external world and trying to discover himself. There should be a drive behind his deed. McCandless is trying to stand out from the stereotypical people and making him a bit more significant. Dillard asking the readers how are they significant or even if they are not are they trying to be significant. O’Brien tries to answer these questions by explaining that every soldier’s experiences are different and that makes them unique. Krakauer uses McCandless as an eccentric personality in the current society. The eccentric behaviors displayed by McCandless makes him more significant. At some part of their life people should have come across similar experience. Nevertheless, reactions for those experiences will not be the same for every person. Since the significance of an experience differs from person to person, determination of the remarkable experience makes them unique.
Perception of an experience makes a vast difference in understanding the meaning of a particular experience. When explaining the flood that killed thousands of people in Bangladesh, Ann Dillard shares the conversation with her daughter. She says “At dinner I mentioned to my daughter, who was then seven years old, that it was hard to imagine 138,000 people drowning. ‘No, it’s easy,’ she said. ‘Lots and lots of dots, in blue water’” (169). Dillard, a well-educated adult knows how mournful is losing thousands of people in a disaster. In contrary Dillard’s daughter does not know the reality of the external world and she sees these news as fantasy. When Dillard says ‘who was then seven years old’ she means the naivety of her daughter. This naivety...

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