death Through The Eyes Of Emily Dickinson 

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

Death is a topic in which there are many different ways to interpret it. Emily Dickinson uses her poetry to explain it understandably. Emily Dickinson is a well-known nineteenth-century female poet. She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, and was known for her educational and political activity. Her mother’s name was also Emily and she suffered from depression. She and her mother were never close. Many people thought that Dickinson suffered from depression, so it is possible it was passed down from her mother. Her first poem was published on March 4, 1850. Her poems, later on, started to get more attention and the readers noticed she often wrote her poems around death and immortality, very deep topics. Emily Dickinson’s poems “I felt a Funeral, in my brain,” “I Heard a Fly Buzz- When I died,” and “My life closed twice before its close,” portray a common theme of death, heartbreak, and loss of herself and others through personal experience, explained through metaphors and dark romantic ideas.

“My life closed twice before its close,” talks about a loss of herself and her views on religion. It is uncertain who the loss is that she talks about, but it can be assumed that it’s not about a person and it’s just a struggle with herself and her views on death and life. Her poem is written in the first person, and the quote “so huge, so hopeless to conceive” (My life closed, Twice before its close, 5) supports the idea that she is confused and struggling with her religious views and thoughts. “In fact, her struggle with social Christendom may have actually propelled her into a quest for the sublime in literature (My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close).” Social Christendom is a romantic transference from Christianity to the belief and worship of nature, this is also related to transcendentalism. Though Emily Dickinson has never experienced death the symbolism explains her thoughts about it. She also explains her thoughts on heaven and hell. In the poem, she states, “Parting is all we know of heaven, And all we need of hell. ” Emily talks about heaven and hell. Heaven is representing how heaven is used as a comfort for when someone dies, but it is uncertain to be true. though she also references hell with is the separation from God, which can also represent what she’s going through with her social Christendom. The struggle with her beliefs leads to confusion and her mental troubles.

The title “I felt a Funeral, In my brain,” is a metaphor for her bad mental headspace. Her general idea of the poem is to explain the experience of madness. The poem is written with a regular rhyme scheme and good grammar which makes explaining madness ironic. Madness is never organized and the flow of the poem is the opposite of the main idea. Mentioning a funeral is what makes the reader reference the thought of thinking about death. “The funeral is entirely metaphoric; it is something like what the speaker felt in her brain when her mental troubles began. The metaphor of a funeral is also appropriate since a funeral is a ritual in which various stages and rites are completed before the final interment of the body; this corresponds to the various stages through which the speaker’s mind passes before its final internment into the graveyard of madness (Moran, Daniel).” The quail could be explaining how her brain felt like death, empty and alone. The metaphor also explains how the brain goes through a process to help the speaker say what’s on their mind, thoughts of death were occurring through her mind. ” Dickinson’s Emily’s brain was overpowering her and it became a dark space for her. “Caskets are often laid upon wooden planks before being lowered into the earth, but the casket in the speaker’s brain proves too heavy for such support. Dickinson creates this metaphor to portray the idea that the speaker’s mind is ‘broke’ (Moran, Daniel.).” The quote talks about how The metaphors throughout the poem have a deeper meaning in Emily Dickinson’s mind. Her poetry is like her diary, it was how she go thow she was feeling onto paper and into words. Our job as the reader is to try and decode the poetry to figure out that deeper meaning. Eventually, throughout her poetry, she starts to feel more relaxed with the idea of death.

The poem “I heard a Fly buzz- When I died” is used as a reference to the sound of calmness. When reading the poem it has a very relaxed tone, it makes the reader feel peaceful. ‘I Heard a Fly Buzz–When I Died– (I Heard a Fly Buzz- When I Died).’ It is the sound of the buzz that brings us into this meditation on death; this sound is contrasted twice in the first stanza to ‘Stillness.’ The sound of the Buzz is what sets the tone of the poem and helps the readers get the feeling of relaxation. This is representing the feeling of calmness when dying. “I Heard a Fly Buzz — When I Died –‘ is a poem against the claim of knowledge, against what it means to claim to know not only what will happen death, but what a fly even is. The dying person is herself uncertain as to who the fly is or what it represents. There is some blue on the fly, which may give the victim hope (Hochman, Jhan).” Emily was uncertain about death, but she did have some hope. That’s when the blue of the fly comes in to represent the hope that the victim might have. Blue was also a color that the Virgin Mary wore, so it also relates to religion and Emily’s struggle. Overall Emily had many ideas about death, and many struggles with finding herself and knowing who she is. Because of her confusion with herself, she puts herself into mental instability.

Overall Emily had many ideas about death, and many struggles with finding herself and knowing who she is. Because of her confusion with herself, she puts herself into mental instability. Throughout the three poems mentioned, the common theme of death is present, and so is Emily’s bad mental stability. The point of this theme is explained through metaphors and play on words. Emily Dickinson became a very popular poet because of her themes throughout her poetry. Especially her being a female poet during the time, was very impressive. Emily had much success in her life and did very well in her career. 


Read more