Essay on Annie Dillard “the death of a moth” and Kate Chopin “the storm”
Date of submission
Essay on Annie Dillard & “The Death of a Moth” and Kate Chopin & “The Storm”
Annie Dillard’s story has a close relation to her career as a writer. The characters in the story are insects. It is clear that she experiences writer’s block at the Blue Ridge Mountains while camping. With her, she has “The Day on Fire”, a book she treasures, for giving her the motivation to want to write. At the mountains, a moth dies under the candle she is using. The death of the moth motivates and inspires her writing career. Similarly, Kate Chopin’s story is about an intimate relationship that ensues because of a storm. The storm brings Alce and Calixta together and sparks a passionate union between them. The death of the moth in Annie Dillard’s essay plays an indistinguishable role with the storm in Kate Chopin’s story. For this reason, it is clear to note the resemblance between the Chopin and Dillard. In point of fact, the two stories have a similar theme. The theme executed by both stories revolves around women discovering their selfhood and identity. This paper focuses on the similar role played by death and the storm regarding Anne Dillard’s and Kate Chopin’s essay, respectively.
The two essays ironically uphold two natural catastrophes in identifying the theme. Most times, death is considered a bad omen but, it was not the case with Annie Dillard. Also, storms often destroy and kill but, Kate Chopin’s story delineates the storm as a uniting factor. As observed in the story, Dillard writes, “I had hauled myself and gear up there to read, among other things, James Ullman’s “The Day on Fire”, a novel about Rimbaud that had made me want to be a writer when I was sixteen; I was hoping it would do it again.” Here, the author clearly depicts that the book was her motivation for writing. The last sentence, however, creates a lot of doubts about it because she is not sure either. She is not certain that the book would give her motivation as it had done before. Howbeit, when a moth flies into her candles, she regains her motivation and zeal.
“She burned for two hours without changing, without bending or leaning — only glowing within, like a building fire glimpsed through silhouetted walls, like a hollow saint, like a flame-faced virgin gone to God, while I read by her light, kindled, while Rimbaud in Paris burnt out his brain in a thousand poems, while night pooled wetly at my feet.” Through this statement, she clearly delineates the role played by the moth in her writing career. She gains more zeal to read the book as she describes and watches the moth die in the candle. In fact, she outlines that the moth’s lights illuminated her book. The above statements by Dillard are a clear description that the moth’s death greatly influences the thesis statement of her story. Also, the statements clearly describe the theme in Dillard’s story. As prior mentioned, the prevalent theme is one of recognizing the plight of women on their self-identity and realization.
Similarly, Chopin’s story has instances of the prevailing theme of women’s plight and self-identity. Dillard outlines, “When he touched her breasts, they gave themselves up in quivering ecstasy, inviting his lips.” Despite her marriage, it is seen that Calixta does not resist Alce’s touch. It is possible to conclude that she may have intimate feelings for Alce. In such a case, she self-identifies and realizes that she may be in love with another man. The above instance clearly delineates the theme present in both stories.
Just like the moth’s death, the storm appears to be a significant factor in the story. It is through the storm that the storyline develops. Ordinarily, Alce would not visit Calixta when she was alone and vice verse. It is also necessary to notice that the author briefly states their past relationship in Assumption. She writes, “Oh! She remembered; for in Assumption, he had kissed her and kissed and kissed and kissed her.” The storm was important in giving them a chance to rekindle their past intimate encounter. In fact, it may have been a sign that Calixta and Alce were meant to be together. The storm has been used to give critical insight on the thesis statement shared by these two stories.
In Dillard’s story, the moth’s death gives her motivation to continue with her writing career. Similarly, the storm leads to a happy ending in Chopin’s story. Howbeit, it is ironical that the two individuals do not get punished for their affair. For this reason, it is salient that the presence of the storm is remarkable in this story. When Calixta’s husband returns home, she is joyous and goes ahead to kiss him on the cheek with the lips that kissed Alce. It is also not coincidental that Alce sends a letter to his wife right after devouring Calixta. In the letter, he informs his wife not to hurry back home because he was doing fine. Most times, when an individual is away from their family, they tend to be sad but, it was not the case with Alce. Maybe Alce wants his wife to extend her stay so that he can spend more time with Calixta. As the author describes, “So the storm passed, and everyone was happy.”
In both stories, there is a portrayal of human nature and condition. Dillard writes that she requires motivation and zeal to forge on with her writing career. It is salient to note that most human beings often require motivation to undertake certain tasks. She depicts that the human condition makes it difficult for them to perform on their accord. Chopin’s story describes the weakness in human beings in the presence of their lovers. Often, individuals appear to be fragile and vulnerable to their romantic partners. She has clearly described this human condition using Calixta’s and Alce’s encounter.
This paper has critically examined the relationship between Dillard’s and Chopin’s stories about the theme. Also, it has given an overview and evidence on the thesis statement prevalent in both stories. Regardless of the differences in writing, the two authors have managed to create the possibility for readers to analyze their stories. It is through death and the storm that the authors assist readers in deriving a thesis statement. As observed, the two calamities have greatly developed the storyline in both stories. Lastly, the paper has examined the human condition and its inclusion in the two stories. It is necessary to learn that the nature of human beings forces them to behave in certain ways. In addition to theme and thesis statement, the two authors have critically tackled the human condition.
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