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Critical analysis of I heard a fly buzz; Wounded deer; and From cocoon forth a butterfly by Emily Dickinson - Research Paper Example

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What is striking in the work of Emily Dickinson, as one search it for her beliefs is the frank, thoughtful, sometimes playful, but always direct approach which she makes to the problems of life, death and immortality. …
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Critical analysis of I heard a fly buzz; Wounded deer; and From cocoon forth a butterfly by Emily Dickinson
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"Critical analysis of I heard a fly buzz; Wounded deer; and From cocoon forth a butterfly by Emily Dickinson"

Download file to see previous pages Her concern with these problems and the expressions of her judgement that she has made in her own highly individualistic idiom has probably led to the classification of much of her poetry as mystical. (Humiliata, 144)

The work and life of Emily Dickinson became known to the world after her death. She led a secluded life and her work is shaped by her individualistic thinking. She mostly concerns herself with themes of: life, death, material and immaterial things, particularly in ‘I heard a Fly buzz’; ‘Wounded deer’; and ‘From cocoon forth a butterfly’.
The running them in ‘I heard a fly buzz’ is death and the momentous experience during the final breaths of life. It is an experience of dying and feeling the last remnants of life. Life is associated with the buzzing sound of a fly- a minute living object. Though everything is still around her; yet it feels as if she is surrounded by a storm. The buzzing sound of the fly is contrasted with “heaves of storm” (4). Dickinson employs contrast to enhance the various themes in her poetry. The fly is moving while everything else in the room is still.
She doesn’t personify the persons present around her deathbed but focuses on their emotions of grief. She does so purposefully so she could heighten the effect of the revelation of the king in power. ‘King’ could be anything- Christian God, or Death....
Even if life is trivial with respect to death or transcendental- it doesn’t let go that easily. The poet can feel life till the last moment. In the last stanza, she symbolizes light as life and darkness as death and the transcendence from light to darkness is gradual and painless. The poet is preoccupied with themes of life and death in this poem. “Death was important to Emily Dickenson. Out of some one thousand and seven hundred poems, perhaps some ‘five to six hundred’ are concerned with the theme of death...” (Nesteruk, 25-43) The first line of the poem startles the reader: ‘I heard a fly buzz when I died;” (1) because this statement apparently doesn’t make sense (no one can feel anything once dead). But the idea behind this is to elucidate the strong connection of life that a person experiences till the last moment. This poem is about feeling that moment where life and death intercede. Death is associated with power, stillness, and darkness. Sound and pictorial imagery is handled very delicately in this poem. The phrase ‘see to see’ is also the culmination of the poem’s complex sound play. It echoes the repetition of ‘stillness’ in stanza 1, and it is the last of the series of sibilants, or hissing sounds (s, sh, z) that run through the poem, building up to the Fly’s ‘buzz’... ... While there are those who see fly as a statement of nihilism that ridicules the notion that death is transcendence, others see the image as more ambiguous. For all its mindless uncertainty, the fly is a symbol of blind, persistent life, and as such, worth clinging to until the very final instant of consciousness. (Leiter, 104) ‘A wounded deer’ is a narrative of a hunter that explains to the poet how a wounded deer behaves when ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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