Analysis Of The Soul Selects Her Own Society By Emily Dickinson

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Poetry, unlike standard prose, is meant to be read aloud. In order to utilise the oral nature of poetry, poets often add structural and sonic elements that enhance the meanings behind their poems. Emily Dickinson, an American poet in the mid 19th century, used these techniques frequently. One example of this occurs in the poem, “The Soul selects her own Society,” in which Dickinson describes the process of choosing whom one associates with. The renowned poet explains that people often selects only a few other people to truly befriend and socialize with. In the poem, sound and structure help to further this idea. Dickinson finds a balance between a structured and unorganized poem to explain the inclination of people to interact with only a few others. …show more content…
Metrically, the poem is primarily composed of iambic pentameter, five poetic feet with one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. For example, Dickinson writes, “The Soul selects her own Society” (1). This is the most common poetic structure, but Dickinson is willing to vary from this tradition meter. Some lines contain more or fewer feet. Additionally, her excessive use of dashes creates for a different sound when read. In the first stanza, Dickinson writes, “Then—shuts the Door—” (2). This appears to be iambic dimeter, but the dash creates a pause that disrupts the line’s rhythm. The lack of a consistent meter allows Dickinson to operate with a certain level of freedom. She can vary syllables and diction in order to clearly express her thoughts. The poem’s rhyme scheme is ABAB, CDCD, and EFEF. However, all but one of these rhymes are slant rhymes. This again shows Dickinson's willingness to contradict standard poetic styles. She includes rhyme, which creates the song-like reading that is both enjoyable and impactful, while still having the diction to express meaningful ideas. This shown by the fact that she is willing to use actual rhyme in the first quatrain. In other words, she

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