The outdoors contains many wonders that a child explores throughout the early years of life; therefore, a person’s childhood tends to position his path for the future. As a result, occurrences seen on an average day sitting at school, exploring in the woods, or examining the stars have the potential to be life changing. An American Childhood (Dillard), “Two Views of a River” (Twain), and “Listening” (Welty) all allocate this thought, yet the works juxtapose each other with different morals.
Annie Dillard writes of the expectations of her to return after completing college and settling in the same town in which she resides her entire life before attending college: “It crawled down the driveway toward Shadyside, one of the several sections of town where people like me were expected to settle after college, renting an apartment until they married one of the boys and bought a house” (2). Dillard feels essentially unpermitted to broaden her horizon of a future. She believes she had been restricted too early and therefore Dillard feels she is not allowed to live up to her possible potential.
Mark Twain, on the other hand, writes of the river and its influence upon him: This sun means that we are going to have wind tomorrow; that floating log means that the river is rising, small thanks to it; that slanting mark on the water refers to a bluff reef which is going to kill somebody’s steamboat one of these nights if it keeps on stretching out like that […]. (1) Within his piece, Twain wonders if he were to have noticed all the diminutive and revealing things of the river as a child, whether it would have foreshadowed the future from the perspective from which he sees the past now.
Twain wishes he had respected the river further as a child rather than simply viewing it as an effortless beauty. Eudora Welty also writes of her childhood, explaining her love for the sky and all that dwells within it. She states, “I could see the full… [continues]