Essay on A poem and a loaded gun

Good Essays

A Poem and a Loaded Gun
The post civil war era was wrought with sexism and backwards thinking. Emily Dickinson was born in 1830, wrote 1800 poems in her lifetime. She has become known for unfolding the social boundaries surrounding women in this time period. Most of her life was shrouded in seclusion and mystery. In the realm of poetry, authors are creative with their usage of literary techniques in order to illustrate their point of view to the reader. Emily Dickinson is especially known for her precise diction, powerful imagery, and obscure timing or rhythm. In her poem “My life had stood – A loaded Gun,” she is heavily dependant on the use of images, eloquent diction and tone to convey both the literal and symbolic meaning or themes to …show more content…

The faster pace and constant beats provide for a significant change from the broken up stand still qualities of the first stanza. The mood portrayed here is that of eventfulness, even usefulness, it is apparent that the speaker feels more fulfilled or somehow more whole.
Also in the second stanza the author introduces the theme of unity between speaker and master by use of her diction. Albert Gelpi, anther notable critic of Dickinson’s work, points out that “already by the second stanza “I” and “he” have become “we”…the rhythm and repetition underscoring the momentous change of identity.” By doing this the author introduces the theme of possession vs. possessed and the inherent contradiction of the concept, referencing the fact that one cannot be without the other.
The second notable use of interesting diction can be found in the speaker’s description of her smile. She “compares her smile to the aftermath of a volcanic eruption.” This notable according to Christine Miller, a notable commentator of Dickinson’s work, because she does not compare it to an event but to “a completed action.” She says the “past perfect verb is more chilling than the present tense would be.” Miller notes this same technique later in the poem when the speaker describes guarding as

Get Access