Horns of the altar is a text that communicates with me in different aspects. Apart from that, it gives me a different outlook towards life as portrayed in general. More importantly is the way the narrator expresses thoughts about what life really looks like. Consequently, most of what is established by the author gives a clear depiction of the people in the world. Many people have been used, others taken for granted, tortured, and yet life goes on. One can experience pain in many ways but in the end, you have to keep on moving towards the destination you want to reach. As expressed by the author the world is genuine and deals resistance to affection.
While relating to what the text presents the world, a clear depiction of nature and the way it is broken comes to mind. It is true that nature is broken and the interdependence and struggle exists not only in the wild but also between people. In a point of view, I would agree to some extent that the world has a way of breaking men and everything in it as time move on. For instance, the lifespan of people has been deteriorating due to new diseases and lifestyles. In a way, the lifestyle change can be compared to the authors depiction of the world as a broken starved man who is exhausted and wrecked past fixing (Annie 241). As the lifestyles change, people tend to be attached to bad habits that dilapidate their lifespans. Consequently, joy, love, peace and anything nice can only last for a while before pain catches up with you. However, the author contradicts where he terms the world as a broken man and later says he has only seen the world as new. Maybe he tries to give a picture of what different generations come to find the worlds nature. For instance, the people born in the 80s and 90s have a different relation to the world as compared to those born in the 21st century. I would agree to the fact that the world is parasitic in a way since it itches you here and pains you there while searching for a path. However, it is not a virtue held dear. The parasitic side of the world is what leads to vices. The authors depiction of the world as a land that waits to devour what on its way is rather harsh.
Certainly we give our infants the wrong idea about their fellow creatures in the world. Teddy bears should come with tiny stuffed bear lice; ten percent of all baby bibs and rattles sold should be adorned with colorful blowflies, maggots, and screw-worms. What kind of devils tithe do we pay? (Annie 236).
I disagree with this notion for the people who are born today find the world as new as the way the author saw it when young. If we give the infants a depiction of the true world then we would not be fair since we had a childhood that sheltered as from the true nature of the world.
While reading this text, perceptions on the way life is changed. For instance, economies in the world have a parasitic, synergetic, and struggling element in the way they relate. Just as the wolves hunt for their prey as expressed by the author, so are various economies that struggle to get somewhere stable. Other economies become parasitic through aids from others from the time they were realized to date. Other economies function in a synergetic element where they assist each other in different ways. Another feature that was prominent is the fact life is a struggle and if one gets a chance to slip through unscathed and flies of gives one more energy to keep on moving until there is no more strength. As the author observed the insect escape the spiders web so the world leaves one with little chances with limited time before it pounces on you (Annie 238).
Horns of the alter addresses some of the things I care about like competition and struggle to achieving goals in life. More importantly, it gives me a new picture of the world making it more interesting to live in. However, some aspects do not come in handy when it comes to my family beliefs. In an expression where he author states
A creature need not work for a living; creatures may simply steal and suck and be blessed for all that with a sharean enormous shareof the sunlight and air (Annie 236).
As it asserts, my family rather believes in hard work and striving to get what you want. The extract did not conform to the traditions of the community. The text passes the who cares test as expressed in this quote
I wonder how long I will be permitted the luxury of this relative solitude. Out here on the rocks the people dont mean to grapple, to crush and starve and betray, but with all the goodwill in the world, we do, theres no other way (Annie 243).
To sum up the author has an interesting point of view when it comes to the way he looks at things. The text was interesting and I would recommend it to any of my friends. If I came across another text like this, I would not hesitate reading or any other work from the author.
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at the Tinkers Creek. New York: Harpers Collins, 2007.
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