Issues of Mortality in Emily Dickinson’s “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died

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Written in 1862, Emily Dickinson’s “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died “symbolizes the death that Emily saw around her daily. Emily Dickinson wrote the poem around the time of the Civil war which was between the years 1861 through the years 1865.Emily Dickinson was socially awkward, and around the time of her early twenties completely secluded herself from the outside world. Despite the fact that her family had strong political traditions, Emily and her brother seemed uninterested in the war. Very much so that when her brother was chosen to enlist in the military he paid them five hundred dollars so he would not have to serve in the military. Once the war started to affect the town Emily was living in, there began to be many deaths around …show more content…

The poem moves onto “The Eyes around-“as Emily paints a picture for her readers to feel the sad eyes of all the people piercing their eyes at her cold body. For the second time Emily references movement and life around death. We can feel the “Breathe gathering firm” from the surrounding people seeing their loved ones dead, lying there. Emily explains the surroundings of a dead person here, how life around stops as the people breathes are held firm. For one moment, everything stops and all life is focused on death. Moving onto the third stanza, here is where we learn the expectations of death. Emily writes. “I willed my Keepsakes -- Signed away, what portion of me be, Assignable” She is content with the idea of signing away her assignable aspects of her life, the portion of herself that she can keep living on when she passes. Here Emily focusing more on mortality while she is talking about death. The long living aspects and pieces of the author that will live on with other people when she is gone. We see the endless portions of life from dead people. “There interposed a fly” is a point where all life is gone from the dead body, and still life lives on. The journey begins to end, where the blue is beginning to overcome her, death has finally taken its course. The Flies’ buzzing begins to stumble as he himself prepares for death just like the author. Death is finally happening for not only the author but the short living, full of life fly dancing around.

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