A flock of birds is transformed in the elaborate work of John Audubon and Annie Dillard by the way they both portray their ideas through their literary devices and diction. Audubon has fairly factual approach. In contrast, Annie Dillard has a very abstract portrayal. This is apparent when specifically observing the style influenced by several factors of both individuals.
John Audubon is immensely precise in his description of the birds in flight he encounters. From a mathematical or scientific perspective, Audubon seems to see patterns and numbers in the surroundings he observes. He sees the birds in “countless multitudes,” and remarks on their “aerial evolutions.” He characterizes the birds by their “compact mass,” and their “inconceivable velocity” as they are “mounted perpendicularly.” This shows in intricacy of the birds, and the accuracy of their flight.
Observations made by Audubon are technical but illustrate a specific setting. A journalistic approach of detail and organized thought is clearly conveyed in the writing of John Audubon. He addresses information with all of the essential components. Audubon states the “multitudes” of birds, the path of their flight from “northeast to south-west” and even the “noon-time of day” in which he observed.
Annie Dillard is elaborate in her delineation of the birds she describes. Dillard's role of a female is clearly woven throughout her piece. She incorporates specific household tasks into her writing to represent the birds actions. There are “flock sifting into flock” of birds over her head like the sound of “beaten air” or “a million shook rugs.” Dillard conveys a knowledge of weaving by establishing an alliance of the characteristics of the birds flight. The birds, “unravel” like a “loosened skein,” and “bobbed and knitted” through the air. She remarks of their passage through the “weft of limbs.” All of the terminology she utilizes is found in weaving or sewing.
Dillard reveals an intimate connection by asking the rhetorical question could “tiny birds be sifting through the gaps between my cells?” This question establishes another dimension of depth relying on awe and wonder found in the author's voice. Abstract and artistic are clearly shown in this statement. Dillard has a extraordinary imagination.
Contrasting views are present in the pieces by Audubon and Dillard. However, they share a common foundation of the interest taken upon the flight of birds. The interpretations they both present differ in several aspects as they describe their observation. Both Dillard and Audubon make parallel relationships to their interests. Audubon creates a simile in which the birds became like an equation. The birds darted forward in”angular lines” and “mounted perpendicularly” to resemble a “column.” Dillard similarly produces a correspondence between weaving and the flight of birds. She describes how “each individual bird bobbed and knitted up and down.”
Both authors also remark specifically about the numbers in which the birds flew. Audubon observes the pigeons in “greater numbers than I thought I had ever seen them before.” Dillard expresses the multitudes of birds flying “directly over my head for half and hour.” Audubon and Dillard both share the same awe and exuberance toward birds.
By comparing the authors, a prevalent theme of awe and wonder of birds is seen in both Audubon and Dillard. By contrasting the two, a array of anomaly is apparent. Varying approaches were seen between Audubon and Dillard, but both create a intricate display of birds in flight.