Tell It Slant Meaning

1312 Words6 Pages
When Dickinson "tells it slant," she is delivering the truth via indirect, ambiguous means. Although, she gives didactic instructions, Dickinson creates flowery comparisons to offer pieces of the truth because delivering the whole at once is too overwhelming for people to handle. The speaker in Dickinson's "Tell all the truth but tell it slant" argues that telling all the truth in a roundabout way is the most effective means of delivery. The speaker practically commands, "Tell all the truth but tell it slant -/ Success in Circuit lies," (1-2). The speaker is didactic from the introduction and suggests what it means to "tell it slant." The first line serves as a thesis for the piece and offers specific instructions. According to the speaker,…show more content…
The speaker claims, "Success is counted sweetest/ By those who ne'er succeed," (1-2). They present this claim as a truism, but is fundamentally impossible. This is another form of telling the truth, but telling it slant because it comes close to the speaker's core belief: you need to experience failure to appreciate success. The conflicting nature of the phrase is similar to the nature of "telling it slant." The idea of "telling it slant" can be contradictory because it is a way of telling the truth without explicitly saying it, which could be…show more content…
In "Success is counted sweetest," Dickinson "tells it slant" but creates a fundamental paradox with extended comparisons. The first piece slowly approaches and discusses the speaker's position on truth-telling. It uses comparisons to light to eloquently deliver the theme: tell all the truth but tell it slant. The second piece makes it clear that the dying soldier knows victory fairly well despite dying on the battlefield when the speaker says the "strains… burst agonized and clear," thus creating a
Open Document