Dillard and Orwell
The essay ‘The Chase’ by Anne Dillard has similarties to the essay ‘Shooting an Elephant’. It also has differences. They are both written by adults who are looking into the past with laughter and anger. In The Chase, Dillard says ‘I was seven; the boys were eight, nine, and ten’ (dillard 56). She states that she was writing about the coming of age. In the autobiography written before the essay, Orwell is writing as an older, wiser man about events that took place when he was in his early twenties’ (Orwell 78). Both of the authors experienced football in their youth as well.
The Chase written by Anne Dillard gives the tone of excitement, thrill at being chased. She says that if you ‘hesitated in fear, miss and get hurt; your fate and your teams score depended on your concentration and courage’ (Dillard 56). Like Orwell’s elephant hunting, the natives are excited about shooting the elephant. If he didn’t shoot the elephant, the elephant may have ‘charged and I missed him, I should have about as much chance as a toad under a steam-roller’ (Orwell 83). The natives depended on Orwell to concrete and have courage while laughing at him if he did not. In football, the team depends on you and your sense of courage. If you don’t move, you get run over, much like a steam-roller. In both essays, both authors felt excitement and dread.
Dillard felt the dread after the man had caught them, ‘he could have only have fried Mikey Fahey and me in boiling oil, say or dismembered us piecemeal, or staked us to anthills. None of which I wanted’ (Dillard 58). She also states that nothing has required so much of me since as being chased all over Pittsburgh in the middle of winter-running terrified, exhausted. It sounds like she was dreading the time when he did catch them. Orwell’s chase was him chasing the elephant. When he did catch up to the elephant, unlike the man, he did not want to harm the animal. He felt sorry for the animal. He says ‘but I did not want.
Dillard and Orwell