Analysis of 'a Bird Came Down the Walk' by Emily Dickinson Essay

867 Words Nov 29th, 2012 4 Pages
Critical Analysis of 'A Bird came down the Walk' In 'A Bird came down the Walk-', nature is presented in various ways. Dickinson experiences the benevolence within nature. This contrasts with the cruel and unmerciful aspects of nature that are also evident in the poem. The narrator feels a sense of belonging with nature as she observes in awe. However, at times, she feels alienated due to the differences between animals and humans. Nature is initially presented as a brutal force. Dickinson creates vivid imagery of an 'Angleworm' being bitten 'in halves' by the bird. The bird's basic need for sustenance takes priority over its other instincts, causing it to behave mercilessly towards its prey. Similarly, in 'A Narrow Fellow in the …show more content…
For example, the bird refuses the 'crumb' and lets a beetle 'pass'. This suggests that animal behaviour is simplistic and moderate. It involves the avoidance of excess or extremes. As the bird is satisfied after preying on the 'Angleworm', it avoids the beetle and the crumb. This type of behaviour stands in stark contrast with the immoderate nature of human beings. In 'This World is not Conclusion' and 'Because I could not stop for Death', Dickinson implies that human beings are too feeble minded to understand the concepts 'immortality' and 'eternity' yet the human desire to 'know' is overwhelming and has no limits. This supports the idea that human beings constantly want more than what they have, whereas animals focus on the basic needs for survival. This separates animals from humans in nature. There are also psychological differences between humans and animals. Animals live instinctively. For example, the bird 'stirs its head' as it is 'cautious' of being preyed on. Its focus is on survival. Human beings on the other hand, have far more demanding needs. These include the emotional, moral and psychological needs that animals do not call for. When these needs are not met, the human mind begins to deteriorate. Evidence of this is shown in 'One need not be a Chamber-- to be Haunted-' where the mind is metaphorically 'haunted' as a result of the protagonists' psychological needs being neglected. This further separates the animals from humans. Dickinson feels as
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