Dickinson's Themes Between Fear And Despair By Emily Dickinson

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Register to read the introduction… Dickinson attempts to establish, as a result of connecting two emotions, fear and despair, to being a woman who not only knows her powerless existence, but feels its restriction as well. In the first stanza, Dickinson establishes the important difference between despair and fear through a simile of a wreck. Whereas fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by coming evil or danger such as the “instant of a wreck”(Line 3). Despair is the loss of all hope or the cause of this loss, such as the despair brought about in the aftermath of a wreck. The use of the dash between the last two lines of the first stanza signifies the idea that the difference between fear and despair is the passing of time. Between the two, fear is instantaneous but despair takes time to settle in and become actualized. This is further established by Dickinson’s opposing descriptions of the “instant” of a wreck and “when” (suggesting time) a wreck “has been.” The second stanza takes these ideas of fear and despair and applies them to the emotions felt by a woman who must live a double sided life where she sees her social status and knows she is bound to it without the ability or capacity for change it. It is interesting that Dickinson uses the term “wreck” to make this connection because it suggests that she is talking about another “w” word, womanhood. Dickinson was known to be a very shut out women. This …show more content…
Her description of a mind without motion alludes to the act of a mind flying through so many thoughts and feelings, all the while the body is motionless, patient in waiting to single out a thought to process and then elaborate on. Dickinson continues in line 6 with “Contented as the Eye,” where she relates the eye to the mind. Similarly, the eye can flicker on different images and see so many things, but is not always observant. The eye can spin around, looking and absorbing all the visuals in front of it, but it is confined in it’s socket, unable to go out and be part of the world it witnesses. Dickinson uses this simile to again emphasize her plight of being a woman and being trapped in the role society set for

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