Theme Of The Death Motif In Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson is one of the few still popular female American poets of the nineteenth century and she is the only woman, who has been admitted into the poetry canon. Why is that and how does her poetry differ from the poems of her contemporaries? I argue that her unconventionality, especially her interest in the death motif, is the key to her lasting popularity and success.
First of all, I want to talk about women´s role and their poetry in the nineteenth century to understand why Dickinson contrasts strongly with contemporary literature by women. Women who were writing at that time were very restricted in their work. They were not supposed to write for a public audience because they were expected …show more content…
While death is personified as a gentleman in “Because I could not stop for Death”, here it seems to be a torture. Dying means loosing one´s identity and mind´s power, the end of one´s consciousness (“My mind was going numb”, “Plank in Reason, broke”, “Finished knowing”). It is a rather disturbing potrayal of death, particularly because there does not seem to be hope for immortality. Furthermore, the poem conveys a feeling of loneliness when it comes to one´s death (“And I, and Silence, some strange Race/ Wrecked, solitary, here“). This is underlined by the speaker opposing him-/herself (“I”, “my”) to “them”. Dickinson makes the poem sound even more macabre with her diction, for example when she uses “box” to describe the speaker´s