In Annie Dillard’s autobiography “The Chase”, she emphasizes and uses great detail in her different writing techniques to make the scenes in the story feel more alive or realistic. The attention of detail can be seen with her intense use of transitions and active descriptions in the actual chase scene. Dillard also uses tone and language of the characters to make the story feel more like actual real time events. In the first paragraph of “The Chase”, the narrator of the story a seven year old girl is informing the audience about the game of football.
She says “It was all or nothing” (Dillard 121).
Basically stating that in football you have got to give all of your effort and not hesitate at all if you want to make the tackle and stop the offense. This do or die attitude is reflected later in the story during the chase scene. It is also the climax of the story. Being that a bunch of kids are together unsupervised, there is going to be some trouble.
That is exactly what happens next. The children are all gathered during a winter snowy day making snowballs next to a street throwing them at passing cars.
“Its wide black door opened; a man got out of it running. He didn’t even close the car door.” This kind of unexpected thrill we can all relate to. Dillard adds even more by putting in the little details that make the reader feel the anger of this man and the feeling of we’re caught by the children that we have all felt as a kid is described in that same quote.
By using these details in the story the reader can put themselves into the shoes of the characters. Dillard uses lots of active descriptions that are very real throughout the chase scene. She uses actual street names like Edgerton Avenue, Lloyd Street, Willard and Lang.
This use of actual real names of streets makes the story. The reader can almost get lost in the chase itself with Dillard’s use of rapid transitions like up, around, under, through, down some, across, smashed. After the chase is over and the children are caught the reader feels tired.