E.B. White: "Death of a Pig"

E.B. White's 1948 essay opens dramatically. Consider the first sentence:

"I spent several days and nights in mid-September with an ailing pig and I feel driven to account for this stretch of time, more particularly since the pig died at last, and I lived, and things might easily have gone the other way round and none left to do the accounting."

In this we have setting, character, and plot. We know when the action takes place, we know White and his pig are the main characters, and we know that White felt himself, at least at some point, in peril.

As you read this, consider how White makes his point by telling a story. What is White's point -- indeed, what makes this an essay? Consider also the opening and the closing scenes: what do we learn from the arrangement he's chosen?

Discuss your answers in the forum at the end of this module.