An American Childhood

One day at school, Annie and her friends gather in awe around a Polyphemus moth in a mason jar. The teacher has accidentally put the moth in too small a jar, so it becomes crippled…

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Over the course of the memoir, Dillard uses “waking up” as a metaphor for the workings of her inner consciousness as she comes to recognize the world outside her and her own place within it…

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