Annie Dillard Writing Styles in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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The fifteen essays or chapters of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek are organized into two parallel structures. The more obvious structure follows the calendar year from January, in the chapters "Heaven and Earth in Jest" and "Seeing," through spring, summer, and autumn to December 21 in the last chapter, "The Waters of Separation." The book is meant to resemble a polished journal that the narrator kept of her observations through one year, but in fact, the material was pulled together from twenty volumes of journals that Dillard kept over several years. The calendar year structure, describing the changes in the seasons, is a convention of American nature writing that has been used by Henry David Thoreau, Edwin Way Teale, Henry Beston, Aldo Leopold, and others.

A less obvious structure has been pointed out by Dillard herself and supports her insistence that the book be read as a whole, not as...

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This section contains 806 words
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Pilgrim at Tinker Creek from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.