October 8, 2011 The Deer of Providencia Journal Response #4 When reading the essay “The Deer of Providencia” I found myself wondering who I felt more sympathy for. The deer or the burned victim? The objective and subjective detailed writing used by the author helped me really put myself in that moment. First, with the setting over the river bank near the village watching the deer suffer and struggle to escape from the rope that had captured it. I was able to feel pain as though I was there myself witnessing it.
The whole beginning of Annie Dillard’s essay had me cringing just picturing the animal suffering. Although, I didn’t feel the same tone coming from the author as if she had no compassion for the deer like I did. I don’t think I would have been able to be as “detached” as the author was at the moment. I probably would have related better to when one of the gentlemen mentioned his wife would have gone through crazy measures to save the animal out of its misery.
However, when the author speaks about the burned victim there’s a much more stronger reaction that we get from her. In line 23 the author writes, “Will someone please explain to Alan McDonald in his dignity, to the deer at Providencia in his dignity, what is going on? And mail me the carbon. ” This time I really felt the pain from the author as she explains how stunned she was by Alan’s tragedy and how his life veered into a life of pain and suffering.
I feel that the author is more impacted by the man than the deer perhaps because she might have already seen pain and suffering to its furthest extent so the deer may come as no surprise or not as bad. Almost as if she has seen worst so she accepts it in a sense. All in all, I found this essay very compelling as I kept wanting to read more and more even though the beginning was quite gruesome. I enjoyed how well Dillard’s used her description in her writing and how she used that to express her ideas as well as her reactions to different types of suffering.