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How Does Annie Dillard Use Darkness In Pilgrim At Tinker Creek Seeing

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Annie Dillard’s effort in the second chapter of her novel, Pilgrim At Tinker Creek, Seeing, is to justify how people perceive the world by explaining the effects of sight and how it is interpreted through darkness and lightness. Darkness, in particular, refers less to the physical absence of light, and more to human’s inability to think with clarity. Darkness clouds the capacity to see until, “only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity,” are visible. The “obscurity” is the dark unknown that hides the visible “clearness.” The “clearness” is our coherence, and yet we are unable to fully experience it because there will always be the unknown that fogs our field of comprehension. Dillard also uses darkness as a motif to repeatedly call attention …show more content…
Within our ignorance there is the unknown as well, which is why Dillard claims edarkness is a pervading force. To further illustrate the human role in nature, the author says that people “rock, cradled in the swaddling band of darkness.” The “swaddling band of darkness” refers to the unknown that people live in, but this quote is particularly powerful because it implies that humans are accustomed to living in the darkness like innocent, unquestioning infants in their natural habitat. This is crucial to understanding Dillard’s perception of seeing because it means that humans have always been lost and submerged in what they cannot comprehend, and though they attempt to perceive their surroundings, they remain oblivious. We see physical darkness everyday, “but, shadows spread, deepened, and stayed. After thousands of years we’re still strangers to darkness.” “Strangers to darkness” further indicates how little humans really know. “Even the simple darkness of night whispers suggestions to the mind,” implies that even in the most basic moments, our own delusion will become an

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