An American Childhood

by Annie Dillard

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Who is with Dillard in the room during the mysterious event in An American Childhood?

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Early in part 1, Dillard describes the mysterious event which she believes to be a monster coming into her room. Only she is in the room when she thinks the monster is joining, and shortly thereafter, she realizes that there was no monster, but rather a shadow caused by headlights from a car outside her room. After describing the monster in detail, Dillard also describes the way she figured out that there was not a monster, but a physical occurrence.

In explaining her revelation from a young age, Dillard begins to address the themes of aloneness, investigation, and outsiders, which all continue into the rest of the section. Because she is realizing her perceptions are connected to the external world, she often makes observations such as this one (the monster being the headlights) on her own.

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