In The Writing Life, one tactic of writing that Dillard does in the essay is the excessive use of figurative language. Dillard creates many beautiful metaphors in the essay because she wants to develop imagery for the sake of the reader and to get her point across. “When you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner's pick, a wood carver's gouge, a surgeon's probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow (page 3)”. This quote is an example of an extended metaphor which gives the reader a beautiful picture and a better understanding of writing because it is extremely easy to understand when objects or things are compared. The second tactic is the use of syntax. Dillard uses the arrangement of words and phrases to create a well-formed sentence and to emphasis her main points. “Once, in order to finish a book I was writing and yet not live in the same room with it, I begged a cabin to use as a study (page 41).” Dillard’s usage of syntax emphasizes the separation she feels between her and her book. Also, she emphasizes the importance of the cabin so she could finish her book. The final tactic is Dillard’s use of detail. On page 45, Dillard talks about how she burned a kettle in the faculty lounge. She then goes on into great detail on how “It was a whistling kettle so they jammed the circular, perforated lid in its mouth. This aluminum lid became a hot item in the teeth of all steam, so someone removed it with a springy clothespin.” Dillard then rambles off talking about clothespin. Dillard clearly writes what comes to her mind and doesn’t stick with a main topic. Her writing is natural not forced and writes in detail about everything.
The little girl is a beautiful red rose. She blossoms and grows every day and night. She needs to be in good care by her providers. She has to be watered and needs plenty of sunlight. She will then blossom and grow to become a stunning healthy red rose. If she is not will nurtured, she will become limp and weak. She will start to decay and eventually give up on becoming a successful red flower. The paragraph above was an example of Dillard’s use of extended metaphors. In the paragraph, I choose a simple metaphor, which was the comparison between a little girl and a red rose, and I elaborated on that specific metaphor. The metaphor is descriptive and every sentence modifies the sentence before it. For example, “she blossoms and grows every day and night” modifies the little girl. The extended metaphor creates a clear detailed picture of the little girl for the reader’s understanding.
In The Writing Life, Dillard mixes the modes of memoir and process analysis into an invigorating combination. Dillard uses specific examples of her life and ties into the process analysis. For example on page 46, Dillard lectures that “the materiality of a writer’s life can’t be exaggerated” and “you can easily get so confused writing a thirty-page chapter that in order to write an outline for the second