"Terwilliger Bunts One" by Annie Dillard

Essay by wemple_13High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2006

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Throughout Annie Dillard's "Terwilliger Bunts One", she expresses many feelings and emotions towards her mother. Her mother, a bit of a "prankster," is constantly testing the wits of her peers using the intelligence of her own. Her husband, guests of the home, even complete strangers would lose their composure over these pranks which resulted in many hard feelings towards Dillard's mother. "Pam!" "Dammit, Pam!" "What ails such people?" "What on earth possesses them?" Those are the words of anger that Dillard's father expresses on page 154 in The Norton Reader, the Eleventh Edition as the result of a simple card game.

It seems that Dillard's mother has pushed the wrong buttons on everyone around her. Everyone except Dillard. As one reads through this story, not once will they encounter any words of anger coming directly from Dillard about her mother. While most people would view Dillard's mother's pranks as mean and uncalled for, Dillard would view them as a lesson and an example.

Dillard would watch how different people handled different situations and the mistakes they made so that she would not make the same mistakes if she were put in a similar situation. On page 152, Dillard states "It took me years to determine where the joke lay," talking about the model airplane collecting joke her mother played on the checker at the supermarket. What makes this quote important is the fact that Dillard remembered the stamp joke for years, which proves that she not only listens, but admires everything that her mother says.

Dillard's mother was a very self-reliable person. Despite all of the criticism and all of the outbursts from her peers, she never changed her personality to anything but her true self. As said on page 153,"She dearly loved to fluster people."...