Dickinson s writing style and method, similar to the manner in which she approaches subjects in her poetry, are very distinct. Dickinson was very methodical in her approach to writing poetry. In further examination of Dickinson’s poetry, specific characteristics that can be found in the three poems .
I Felt a Funeral in my Brain x, . Souls Selected her own Society x and . Because I could not Stop for Death x like her distinct use of diction, meter, rhyme, and the dash.
These figures of speech allowed her to create poems that were intimate, universal, and unique.
Diction is an important aspect of Dickinson’s poetry, and as was aforementioned, she went through great lengths to ensure that she selected the precise word among a myriad of possible word choices that she might use for a single line. However, as a result of her constant practice of compiling a variety of words to use, many of her poems have various implications as well as associations.
In her poem, “I felt a funeral in my Brain”, her diction is very important in creating a parallel scene between the funeral procession and the person’s own procession to insanity. Words like bell, in the fourth stanza create the imagery of a bell tolling in the procession of a funeral march, and help to relate the proceeding finality of the poem.
The use of “I” instead of we or another pronoun, allows the writer to create an intimate first person portrayal of the struggle and, subsequent, suffering of the person in the poem.Images of a funeral procession reappear in the work, however, it is her diction that ironically breathes life to these images of death. Most of her imagery is chosen to describe the effect of a word upon him who hears it supports he contention that, for her, communication consisted in the transmitting or perceiving an immediate, overpowering vision. Her collective use of images and diction in “I felt a funeral in my Brain” provides an “overpowering vision” of not only the funeral procession, but also the procession of the mind to instability.
Also distinct to Dickinson’s style is her verse and meter. Her poems, like “Because I could not stop for Death”, should instead be categorized by her use of iambic or trochaic feet in them. However, Dickinson does limit her poetry to solely those two meters. Besides her other techniques, Dickinson is probably most well known for her use of dashes, which are found in “Soul Selects her own Society”.
While the dash is seen as a definitive mark of Dickinson’s poetry, it usually is not given a specific identification or function, and the reader it left to interpret its meaning.At times Dickinson’s dash presents punctuation such as a period, comma, or semicolon; anticipation, and suspense. The dash in poems, like “Soul elects her own Society”, allows Dickinson to draw attention to words, or emphasize contradictions. Mostly important, The overall effect of the dashes is probably to reproduce pauses in her own reading of the poems.
In her poem, “Soul selects her own Society,” Dickinson uses the dash to emphasize; to caution the reader to read slowly; and to reveal meaning to the reader.The poem is written in the first person, initially however this is not revealed to the reader. Only in the third and final stanza does the speaker identify herself when she says,” I’ve known her”. Dickinson’s emphasizes the soul’s difficult process in selecting its complement through dashes in the line, “Then-shuts the door”.
Again, she emphasizes the serious process of the soul’s selection in the final stanza with the repetition of then followed by a dash, “Then-close the Valve of her attention”.The dashes also emphasize symbols, like Chariots and Emperor. Notably, after Chariots, she places a dash to emphasize its meaning, and caution the reader to pause. Prior to the word Emperor, she places a dash for the same affect.
Dickinson s work is interconnected, and in order to understand the themes within her poems, such as “Because I could not stop for Death”, “I felt a funeral in my Brain”, and “Soul selects her own Society”, it is important to understand and identify main characters or key ideas within those poems. Because I could not stop for Death x, while the speaker is generally identified as the one who is dying, she is not, instead she is pondering over the death of a loved one in which death guides her in this journey. The tone of the persona is very contemplative and she attempts to gain a etter understanding of life and existence as a result of her encounter with death.She grapples with questions of how the living exists and move on after the deaths of their loved ones and how does that death affect their own thoughts of mortalit Death acts as the instructor in the persona’s travel through life experiences.
He directs his carriage along scenes of children’s play, and through seasons which emphasis the progression of life. While death acts as a civil suitor throughout the poem, tension arises as to what might be his final behavior towards the character of the oem.Immortality, represents life and how life continues to move on after death of loved ones. In some ways, immortality also provides an alternative view to life, because it shows that relationships do not end with life, but they presist after do to the strong emotional and psychological bonds between the living and their dead loved ones.
This explains why after a loved one has died, the feelings of the family do not to cease to exists, but continue after because they are still connected in some way about that person.Compared to . I felt a funaral on my Brain x, the speaker is in a state of limbo, which is progressing to insanity. However, the voice of the speaker is very clear, and certain as she describes the process of her deterioration as it parallels the progression of a funeral procession.
The idea of the funeral is very important in the reader’s understanding the persona’s deterioration. It provides imagery of how her mind slowly collapses until the end where ” A Plank of Reason, broke, and I dropped down, and down-”.
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