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Emily Dickinson

Autor:   •  September 5, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,189 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,439 Views

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Death, according to the Journal of Medical Ethics website, is "both inevitable and final. Death is irreversible, a permanent cessation of essential processes of life" ("The Reversibility of Death"). Emily Dickson was reclusive in that in her poetry she often captured theme of death in a literary form. Death is deeply rooted in a personal experience of losing a loved one. Many critics point to the technique of death that Dickinson writes to create the effectiveness of her poems. One of the many critics such as Brittany Abeijon writes:

Dickinson's life was marked by a succession of deaths, which caused her to spend the later half of her life in sorrow. She experienced many tragic deaths of people close to her, thus influencing her writing as means of expression and becoming a recurrent theme in her poetry. Although Emily Dickinson wrote about death, she often times wrote about it in peculiar ways such as death as being eternal and continuous but also immortality as a state of consciousness in an eternal present and can be seen in her poems.

For that reason, these claims made by Abeijon confirm the full scope of Dickinson's usage of death in her poetry. Beyond her traumatic experiences with death, Dickinson used the nature of death to express her emotions and the knowledge of it.

Two of Dickinson's poems that employ a strong connection to death are "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain", written in 1861, and "Because I could not stop for Death", written in 1863. Both of these pieces of work show how Dickinson effectively uses the theme of death from a perspective of a person that is dead.

Dickinson first wrote "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain" in 1861. At that time, America was in the midst of fighting the Civil War against Great Britain. Emily Dickinson writes the greater part of her poetry during a period of heightened tension (Abeijon). "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain" is no exception. This poem shows her every day thinking while she was living through this tough time in American history. Dickinson constantly thought about death and suicide, but she was always too afraid to commit suicide. The poem delves deep into the mind of a human being and attempts to recreate the mind's destruction through using funerals as a metaphor. The poem is in iambic pentameter which means a stressed beat followed by an unstressed beat (shmoop). Her creative use of metaphors in her work, make them innovative and popular, and such is the case with "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain". She uses the word "Funeral" is as a metaphor, but our understanding of the poem doesn't depend on identification of such an event and to which the work seems to refer to (Monteiro). Dickinson incorporates ambiguity and this familiar situation of a "funeral" so that the readers can effortlessly relate to it even if they have not experienced the nature of


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