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Birds in Flight

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Humans have been continuously concentrated on birds. From the caveman era to the modern man, it has been a basic human response to watch birds. In John James Audubon's Ornithological Biographies, and Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, these two authors show the correlations and disparity with the use of syntax, rhetoric, and diction, between two different time periods and species of birds, showing that the enigma of human interest in birds spans more than just a biological interest, but spans time as well.

First, both Audubon and Dillard use the same syntax and diction to convey their feelings. For a start, both authors use active of diction, as when Audubon speaks, "...I left my house at Henderson..." and Dillard's, "I didn't move". The authors, to capture their emotions at that time, and to explain their sentiment, have the reader follow in their footsteps. After that, Dillard and Audubon elaborate their feelings the birds had on them with the use of complex imagery. Both authors use imagery to make average, even dull things appealing as in the excerpt by Audubon, "...the dung fell in spots, not unlike melting flakes of snow...", and Dillard's, "...birds winging through the gaps between my cells...". These instances of imagery emphasizes the love the novelists feels, as few would have spoke so highly of things as dung and birds in the sky. Finally, the polysyllabic diction both authors employs assists the writers in elaborating their intricate feelings. This is made apparent when in Audubon uses words such as, "...inclination...", "...eminence...", and "...undulating...", while Dillard uses speech like, "...oriflamme...", and "unexpectedness". Complex ideas need complex vocabulary to get their point across.

To follow with, both authors also have contrasting examples of diction. The first of which being the comparison of concrete and abstract ideas, as when Audubon uses concrete example of the birds intellect, "...flew so high...rifle proved ineffectual", and Dillard's abstract telling, "...tapered at either end from a rounded middle, like an eye". These divergences in text illuminate to the reader, the authors' differentiating emotions. Second, Audubon uses objective diction, while Dillard uses subjective. This is seen when Audubon writes, "...different trails to reach them...proved ineffectual", a journalistic type telling of a story about birds dodging bullets, while Dillard use of subjective diction include, "...bird bobbed and knitted up and down in the flight at apparent random..." These details come from a person affected by their own bafflement and emotions. Third, Audubon uses hyperbole while Dillard uses understatement to portray their emotions. Audubon illustrates his use of hyperbole in this instance, "The air was literally filled with pigeons",



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