Reading Response # 1 - The Chase - Work space


Question Description

Annie Dillard - The Chase (Links to an external site.)

Then answer the following five questions:

Question on Meaning: What is Dillard's PURPOSE in this essay? Obviously, she wants to entertain readers, but does she have another purpose as well? (Hint: she does).

Question on Writing Strategies: Why does Dillard open her story with a discussion on football? In what why does the game of football serve as a metaphor in the story? (Hint: look at par. 13 as well as the sentence "It was all or nothing" in par. 1).

Question on Language: Look up the meaning of any of the following words. (Then write the meaning next to the word). Please make sure to use the right meaning of the word in context with the story.

crenellated (par. 5):

translucent (6):

nigh (7):

impelled (14):

compelled (14):

prow (16):

perfunctorily (18):

redundant (19):

piecemeal (20):

exalting (20):

righteous (20):

Question from Discussion: Why, according to Dillard, is it usually necessary for writers to revise the opening paragraphs of what they write?

Story Arc Question: How does "The Chase" follow the story arc. Where do you see the following in the story, and what line represents the story arc element:

  1. Exposition - also referred to as stasis, usual occurs at the beginning of a story. This is where the author lays the groundwork for the readers. Who are the characters? Where do they live? What's happening? Think of it as an introduction that helps the reader settle into the story before things start to pick up.
  2. Rising action - happens after the stage has been set for the readers, and begins to move the story in a forward direction. The rising action is generally characterized by conflict, usually problems and challenges that the characters must overcome.
  3. Climax - of the story is where the plot reaches its critical mass. It's the tipping point where tensions are at their highest and the reader is most engaged by what's happening. The climax is usually where the most exciting or important actions occur.
  4. Falling action -occurs on the other side of the climax. Think of it like mountain climbing. Once you've reached the peak of the mountain, you have to come back down from the top. While the rising action helps build towards the climax, the falling action helps deescalate the tension and ease readers into the conclusion of the story.
  5. Resolution - of the story is where the plot comes to an end. This is where major problems are solved and loose ends are tied up.

Tutor Answer

School: UIUC



The Chase – Workspace
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation




1. What is Dillard’s PURPOSE in this essay? Obviously, she wants to entertain readers,
but does she have another purpose as well?
Dillard worked towards recounting a comical childhood experience, which helps give an
entertaining aspect in “the chase.” However, besides bringing in an element of fun, the essay also
shows the reader on the quality of life lessons that are associated with trivial childhood
experiences (Dillard, 1999). This a major reason besides the writing of the essay as it can be
inferred from the outline given in paragraph one as what Dillard thinks should be learned. He
describes football as one that highlights an idea of “all or nothing” and consequently proceeds to
detail the chase away from the Buick man. By offering the lesson to be deciphered, followed by
a detailed elaboration of childhood experiences, Dillard expects that a reader will be at leverage
to develop a connection between the chase details and the “all or nothing” notion and ...

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