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Emily Dickinson Essay

2019 words - 9 pages

Emily Dickinson had many tragic life experiences that influenced her poetry and caused her to write on the theme of death. Dickenson’s life was filled with multiple tragic deaths, which caused her to spend half of her life in sorrow. She experienced many deaths of people close to her, in which influenced her writing as a major reoccurring theme. Although Emily Dickinson wrote about death, she often times wrote about it in very odd ways such as death being eternal but also death as a state of life and this can be seen in her poems, “Because I could not stop for Death”, “I heard a Fly buzz”, and “I died for Beauty.
Emily Dickinson writes the majority of her poetry during a period of stress ...view middle of the document...

Because of the similarity to both, death becomes an extension of life. The next lines describe, “a House that seemed/ A Swelling of the Ground/ The Roof was scarcely visible,” (17-19). Dickinson uses the “house” metaphor when referring to a sort of tombstone or grave, the house barley above the ground. Usually the carriage ride with death would be a one-way ride, but in the end of her poem, she speaks of an “eternity”. She expresses her carriage ride with death that leads into eternity, making death another extension of life. During the time she was writing, there were a high number of deaths due to the civil war and she seems to make death seem not so evil but rather something, or someone, that doesn’t have a good side or a bad side, but rather neutral. This could also be influenced by her short life as a Christian. She grew up in a Christian home with Christian parents but as she became older she was disowned by her family because she refused to call herself a Christian. This could have lead to the belief that there is more after death.
Although the previous poem was written about a carriage ride of eternal death, “I heard a Fly buzz”, is told by a woman who is still speaking and still hearing things after her death. Because the dead woman can still speak, this shows that Dickinson feels that dying is not the end. This poem is highly ironic and unusual when it is talking about life’s most serious moments but this serious moment is being distracted by a very simple, meaningless distraction. The first line describes her as she is laying on her deathbed trying to die, surrounded by her family, she claims, “I heard a Fly buzz when I died,” (1). The poem begins with an unusual and seemingly impossible claim to hear a sound such as a fly as she is dying. A recurrent theme seen in Dickinson’s poetry is that death is an extension of life, and the poet’s claim of hearing a fly as she is dying clearly represents this theme. The women’s family is there to express their love to her as she lay dying. A moment like this one should be one of the most serious moments for any person, but instead there is a fly buzzing around the room. This fly is stealing everyone’s attention, because the room “Was like the Stillness in the Air/ Between the Heaves of Storm,” (3-4). The speaker feels most annoyed at this distraction because there are some expectations to death, such as seeing a bright white light upon entering heaven or seeing God, yet the speaker only hears a fly buzz, no light, no redemption, no God. The next lines tell of the family’s patient wait for her death. She describes them as, “The Eyes around had wrung them dry,” (5). Her family has cried as much as one could cry over losing a loved one and now they are only waiting, “For that last Onset when the King/ Be witnessed in the Room,” (7-8). In the first part of this line, Dickinson uses a contradictory statement by stating “that last Onset”. Last obviously means an “end” while onset means a “beginning”....

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