Mortality In Emily Dickinson's I Heard A Fly Buzz

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Many poets have been haunted by the idea of death, but few as much as Emily Dickinson. Even a small sampling of Emily Dickinson 's poetry is enough to reveal that death is her main subject of focus. In fact, it could be argued that death finds it’s way into each and every poem Dickinson writes, as it is so prevalent of a theme throughout her writing, the main difference would be of how obvious this theme is to the reader of each poem. Emily Dickinson 's interest in death is often criticized as being morbid, but modern day readers are mostly impressed by the way Dickinson handles the delicate subject that is mortality. The two finest examples of poems that are truly inspired by death and the subject of mortality are “I heard a Fly buzz - when …show more content…
“I heard a Fly buzz” is a poem specifically about mortality and death, and is the sole reason for it’s existence. Dickinson uses the poem to explore death in a new and bold way. There are allusions to how it may feel and what happens when one dies, or what is expectant of death, looking at death from different aspects, before, during, and after death. Dickinson puts the theme of mortality and death center stage in her opening line, “I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –” (1) it is very nearly the first thing that the speaker talks about and is spoken about in the past tense. This is an unusual turn of events, as death is normally spoken about as something that is distant and toward the future,but this poem’s narrator is dead, and puts her perspective in a much different place than the reader’s. The line’s punctuation, like many …show more content…
Mortality is the major theme in this poem and is mainly focused on the narrator’s attitude toward her own death and what her death was actually like. This theme of mortality can be seen in the first line alone “Because I could not stop for Death –” (1) Death is introduced at the very beginning of the poem, where the reader is thrust into the story told by the narrator of her own passing. The reader is also reminded that our own death is far beyond our own control and not something that we choose. The speaker is seemingly unafraid of her own death, and even embraces and accepts it. Similarly to “I heard a Fly buzz,” even the punctuation added to the end of this line speaks to the theme of mortality, the dash being finite and jarring, but also uncertain, as it does not create the feeling of being completely finished. The line, “We slowly drove – He knew no haste” (5) adds even more credence to the idea of mortality, as it shows how little control the narrator had over her own death, and that Death had complete control. Conversely, just as much as the poem is about mortality, it also touches upon the theme of immortality. “The Carriage held but just Ourselves – / And Immortality.” (3-4) Dickinson unabashedly explores the idea of life after life as the reader comes to realize that the memory of the narrator’s death day is being

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