The Stunt Pilot
Annie Dillard does an exceptional work in her anecdote The Stunt Pilot. My thoughts on this essay regard Annie Dillard as a brilliant poet who presents us with a descriptive essay that talks about Dave Rahm who plays the role of a fearless pilot. The author utilizes appropriate literary devices that allow the reader to have realistic feeling of the essays scenes and setting. Reading through the anecdote is an interesting experience as Dillard’s work involves flowing sentences that utilize tropes and schemes such as personification, metaphors, as well as other rhetoric devices. In addition, Dillard often puts into use similes when describing Rahms talented stunts, “The plane looped the loop, seemingly arching its back like a gym expert….. “the plane played around its line like a cat would with yarn” (Dillard, 89). Dillard describes the persona Dave Rham as a brilliant stunt pilot, one who is a genius of the air. Through this description, Dillard is able to establish her topic of the anecdote and that it will revolve around Dave Rahm and his expertise in commanding the airways in a plane. Dillard conveys awe and enthusiasm about Rahm’s talent. It is through this that she manages to establish the thesis of the anecdote.
Dillard goes on to support her thesis through imagery as she portrays the movement of Rahm’s plane. She tells us about her personal experience once she got an opportunity to ride the plane alongside Rham. She describes her amazement as she glances at the atmosphere from a different point of view. Clearly, she describes the scenery while on the plane, “Patches of cloud obscured the snow fleetingly….mountainside coming up at the windows from all directions, ice and rock filling the screen up close and screaming by” (Dillard, 92). To intensify on every moment, Dillard utilizes the use of long sentences characterized by vivid words normally separated semi colons and commas. Dillard continues to magnify the thesis of her anecdote through constant comparisons between Rham and an artist. “The movements he made with the airplane, or “paintbrush,” were a masterpiece” (Dillard 24). In my opinion, I believe the author had an intention of likening airplane stunts as a form of art. Through this description, Dillard fully revealed the character and role of Rahm in the anecdote to the readers. Rahm is highlighted as an individual who exhibits strong willed properties with no emotional fears. Rahm’s capability and talent in talent flying had a strict dependence on “matter of fact” ways of flying. From his behavior, no one could tell how he felt. Rahm did not display any outward emotion nor did he show any satisfaction in his successful stunts; he was restrained. His school of thought revolved around entertaining the crowd, nothing more.
In addition, Dillard manages to provide us with a parallel contrast between her life intertwined with that of Rahm. She parallels a writing sensation in a spinning manner that goes to show how Dillard regards writing as a serious endeavor. As Dillard watches Rahm execute his stunts in a pilot show, she does so in a passionate manner as she starts dreaming about commanding her own plane just like Rahm. Through the language she uses, it is very clear in her descriptive sensations that as a writer, she considers it similar in efforts to those Rahm puts in his profession. We are able to identify this through her assertion that neither of them manage to identify their success in the course of their performances. In simple terms, neither Rahm and Dillard are aware of the development and progress of their respective arts at the moment the task is being carried out.
In my opinion, it is very interesting to fin d out that a crop duster pilot only has a life expectancy of five years; that a pilot will put his life on the line for the sole purpose of experiencing the flying exhilaration. I would never picture myself engaging in an act that compromises my well being. But people like Rahm can easily do that through their reserved emotions. This a fabulous piece of art that is very interesting to read. Annie Dillard did a commendable job.