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Rhetorical Analysis Essay - What Does It Mean to Write A Rhetorical Analysis

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Annie Dillard in her essay, “Living like Weasels” states that weasels live a life of freedom compared to where a human lives a life of choice. She supports her claim by first sharing her experience with the encounter with a weasel, and then she compares humans to weasels saying that they should live wilder like weasels. Dillard’s purpose is to show that we should go after our dreams no matter the cost, in order to accomplish the dreams that one may have and that you don’t get deterred and give up from your dreams. She establishes a spiritual and transcendent tone for anyone in the world that is chasing a dream. Dillard creates multiple images contrasting the life of a weasel, and the life of a human. While she creates these images her diction, and metaphors stick out significantly.

One of the main contrasting images that Annie Dillard creates is the way a weasel lives there life and the way that a human being lives there life. The way that she says a weasel lives there life is wild while she says that a human lives a life of decision making. She states that humans live a life of choice because us humans have so many different decisions that we can make in our lifetime. What she means by this is that humans need to take note of the way that weasels live there life, and that a weasel lives a better life than a human. Humans can learn a lot of things by paying attention to the way that weasels live there life. Dillard uses the quote that says ” yielding at every moment to the perfect freedom of single necessity.” She uses this quote to say that humans are always going out and “attacking” the things that they want to do in life whereas a weasel cautiously approaches every situation.

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Another key image where Dillard contrasts humans and weasels is in the quotes where she says “it covers two acres of bottomland near Tinker Creek with six inches of water and six thousand lily pads.” and “There’s a 55 mph highway at one end of the pond, and a nesting pair of wood ducks at the other.” Right of the back you can see from her quote where she talks about the lake and the “55 mph highway” that “two acres” is a human measurement, and that measurement is a precise one, and for the “55 mph highway” it is a human idea, and it is also a phrase that shows human decision making. This is contrasted by six thousand lily pads. It doesn’t seem realistic that she sat there and actually counted six thousand lily pads, and lily pads aren’t a scientific measurement. Also in the quote, she mentions “wood ducks” which isn’t human, and she doesn’t even mention a number she just states that there is “a nesting pair of wood ducks.”


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