jest and earnest

December 18, 2016 General Studies

Everyone is placed on the earth with a purposeful or sincere intent. Or are some things placed here by some creator with a very good sense of humor as a joke. In Dillard’s essay she leaves you questioning whether everything on this earth was made in jest or in earnest. She uses her own experiences in trying to answer this question. Is this question just one of life’s unanswered questions? We can all come to our own opinion, but there way never be a right answer. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Instead for this essay it is more of “beauty is in the eye of the creator”. When a creature is made it may not be seen as beautiful to a strangers eye, but it may be the most precious creation to the creator. There are murders, thieves, and robbers placed on this earth, but for what reason. Maybe they are not placed here just to keep the world running. I mean would they really have been put here for the sole purpose of creating evil? That is the question Dillard wants us to answer and she tries to do so in this essay.

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In Dillard’s first scene, she comes across a frog who has just had the life sucked out of him by a “Giant water bug”. She begins to question the water bug’s purpose for being created. We are all like the water bug in a sense. We are constantly looking for food, destroying anything in our path to survive in life. But Dillard was attracted first to the frog and felt more compassion for the frog when he died. If the tables were turned you have to think that same frog killed probably killed quite a few fly’s hour’s before. So what the giant water bug did is no worse then what the frog did to innocent flies hours before. A question that Dillard asks while she is still trying to make sense of the scene she just witnessed is “If the giant water bug was not made in jest, was it then made in earnest?”(224) By that question she means that the creator could of either created this animal as a good thing, or as a bad thing intentionally placed on this earth to create harm.

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