Essay about Loaded Gun Symbolism Depicted in Emily Dickinson's Poem, 754

1993 Words 8 Pages
In the beginning of Emily Dickinson’s poem “754,” the narrator immediately compares her life to a weapon, “My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun --” (754). Usually, when one thinks of a gun, he or she might think of death instead of love. In most cases, when a person owns or has a possession of a gun, that person might use the gun for protection. A gun is an inanimate object that has the potential or power to take the life of a human. From analyzing the poem “754,” the narrator symbolizes a loaded gun, full of potential, full of power, waiting to be in the possession of its owner for protection just as a bride waits to be wedded by her husband.
The owner, assumed to be male, claims the narrator, assumed to be female, in the first stanza
…show more content…
Notice how Dickinson uses the repetition of the pronoun we. In the second line of the second stanza, the owner can be further compared to a hunter. However, for the “We” to be significant the owner needs the narrator, just as a hunter needs his gun, and as a husband needs his wife. In association, all of the pairs previously mentioned all become one, specifically the owner and the narrator that represent the “We” in the first two lines of the second stanza. In the next two lines, there is an implication of the gun being used, which means the narrator is no longer in a potential state. The narrator is being the action for her owner, “And every time I speak for Him -- / The Mountains straight reply --” (754). The third and fourth lines of the second stanza entail that anytime the narrator speaks on the owner’s behalf, which corresponds to a gun firing, the echo effect of the noise bellowing through the mountains is the reply. Also, by the narrator speaking on his behalf, she, in relation to a bride or wife, is protecting and keeping the owner’s outlook by acting as his representative.
Dickinson’s change in tense from the first stanza to the second is very significant. The first stanza is in past tense, but the second stanza is in present tense. By Dickinson changing the tense from past to present, the change
Open Document