Emily Dickinson Research Paper

984 WordsDec 21, 20084 Pages
Michael Salvucci Mrs. Comeau English 10 Honors Death, Pain, and the Pursuit of Peace Although Emily Dickinson’s poetry is profoundly insightful, her poems have a very confinedpan of subjects and themes. Most likely due to her early life and social reclusion, Dickinson’s poetry is limited to three major subjects: death, pain, and on a somewhat lighter note, nature. Dickinson’s poetry is greatly influenced by her early life as she led an extremely secluded and pessimisticlife. In her early adult years the poet spent one year studying at female seminary, from 1847 to 1848. Dickinson’s blunt pessimistic attitude is shown in a letter, written to a friend, as she says “I am not happy…Christ is calling everyone here, all my companions have…show more content…
It’s use in this stanza of the poem is crucial to the symbolism of the fly. After the speaker has given away all her worldly possesions, the fly appears as almost to take to her out of this world, ultimately to death. In another poem of Dickinson’s, “Safe In Their Alabaster Chambers”, death is not a feared inevitable moment, but a reasuring uplifting one. In the second stanza the speaker writes “Light laughs the breeze in her castle of sunshine; / Babbles the bee in a stolid ear; / Pipe the sweet birds in ignorant cadence,” (lines 5-8). Her usage of words like: light laughs, sunshine, and sweet create a mood of peace and happiness, contrasting to a mood of overshadowing gloom. Combined with death, many of Dickinson’s poems include a general subject of pain. She often writes that pain is overpowering, and it consumes the life of its host. This is shown in the poem “Pain Has an Element of Blank”, Pain has an element of blank; It cannot recollect When it began, or if there was A time when it was not. (lines 1-4) The speaker uses the improper pronouns ‘it’ and ‘its’ instead of and ‘me’ and ‘my’ to show that the poem is written in pain’s point of view. If suffering from intense pain causes us to be stripped of identity, then we become the pain. Dickinson’s use of these improper pronouns enforces this theory. Like a candle flickering with little oil left, a person persevering through suffering and pain can one day find happiness once
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