Field of Silence Annie Dillard

Topics: Annie Dillard

In the essay explores the concept of the theme “silence” using repetition and symbolism. The repetition of the word “silence” relates to the sound of nature. It’s supposed to show the reader that the average human being is to connected to the noises and the chaos of the urban lifestyle that they never get the chance to actually be in a truly silent place or, as annie dillard referred to it as the “natural state” of sound. In the beginning of the essay dillard talks about the farm and how lonely it is.

She talks about how beautiful it is and how “you could see east to the water between you and the mainland, and beyond it the mainland’s mountains and slicked with snow”. This puts us under the impression that “the farm” is in very rural lands and a lot of the land is untouched by humans.  This sentence leads the reader into how because the farm is very far from the urban society it gets a lot of silence.

She later goes on to say, “You laugh for a while, exhausted, and silence is restored”, this shows us that the silence can be restored after a while of noise unlike in the city.

She shows us that this would be very odd for an average human because they aren’t use to being in the presence of the natural silence. “It is calming to herd animals. Often a regular rodeo breaks out-two people and a clever cow can kill a morning-but still, it is calming”.

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She uses the repetition of the word “calming” to show us that it feels more normal to be in the presence of man made sound over the natural silence and that a person would prefer to hear the “rodeo” over being in complete silence for the morning. Later in the essay Dillard comes back to the field at “the farm” where she once lived and said that that there are angles in the field. “I remarked to a friend, by way of information, “there are angles in those fields.” In this quote from the text Dillard uses the angles to symbolize the silence in the field. In this whole essay dillard stresses the idea that silence is the presence of god.

This is why she says that the angles are in the field. This shows the reader that religion is something many people don’t believe anymore because everyone lives in a very advanced time with science proving many religious beliefs false and that the advancement of technology is getting in the way of religion expanding. “I felt myself tall and vertical, in a blue shirt, self-conscious, and wishing to die.” This shows us that she is very uncomfortable in the presence of god and she just wants to die because its not normal for her. She feels that everyone would feel the same way that she did in that moment. By using the angle to express the symbolism of the silence and the repetition of the words “calming” and “silence” Annie Dillard would explore the the theme of silence in the essay Field of Silence.

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Field of Silence Annie Dillard. (2022, Mar 05). Retrieved from

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