Critique of Annie Dillard’s “The Deer at Providencia”

Paper Rating: Word Count: 587 Approx Pages: 2

Do you find it interesting to watch something or someone suffer? In "The Deer at Providencia,  Annie Dillard shows that people are shocked at the suffering of others, through the deer tangled in rope and the narrator's sympathy towards Alan MacDonald. The suffering of others is continuous until we die and we are trapped in a world where we cannot escape suffering. Through this first person narrative, Dillard wants us realize that the deer and Alan MacDonald are symbolic for not being able to escape suffering, and she wants us to understand her profound mood and clear theme.

The characters are introduced first in the setting of the village Providencia, but throughout the narrative, there is little credit given to the other men. "The other three North Americans were metropolitan men.  In most of the scenes, Dillard just included the North Americans along with herself as "we.  It would have been more interesting to know some of their backgrounds to understand why they reacted the way they did to the deer's struggles. The men were key secondary characters and should have more of a voice in the narrative.

The voice is brought out in about the second paragraph, which shows how Dillard has the story in order. "The first thing we saw when we climb the riverbank to the village of Providencia was the deer.  "Then, after I would think ¦  This order is almost as if it were an itinerary of what has happened or a journal entry describing one's exciting day that also offsets the mood of the narrative. The mood the audience begins to see that the author has control. The mood is stirring the side of the reader that wants to help the deer, but then eat it too. This mood is created through Dillard's thoughts and descriptions of the deer. "I have thought a great deal about carnivorousness; I eat meat. These things are not issues; they are mys... Continue Reading