She grew to avoid contact with all but her immediate family. Dickinson stayed much of her life inside her house. The only time she would go outside is at night, to water her garden. The only contact Dickinson made with the outside world was strictly through the mail. Between 1851 and 1854, thirty-three of her young acquaintances died. In 1874, Emily Dickenson’s father died. Her depression grew deeper. “Her isolation became so deep that she refused to meet visitors face to face, preferring to talk to them from behind a screen or door” (Bender 22).
All of the deaths deeply affected Emily, which affected her writing dramatically. Her poetry was “almost obsessively focused on death” (Bender 20). “She looked at death from the point of view of both the living and the dying. She went as far as to imagine her own death, the loss of her own body, and the journey of her soul to the unknown” (Ferlazzo 41). I can’t stay any longer in a world of death. Austin is ill of scarlet fever. I buried my garden last week-our man Dick, lost a little girl through the scarlet fever. I thought perhaps that you were dead, and not knowing the sexton’s address, interrogated the daisies.
Ah! dainty- death! Ah! democratic Death! Grasping the proudest zinnia from the purple garden. In this letter, she explains how she knows many people who have and who has had scarlet fever and died from it. When Dickinson says, “I can’t stay any longer in a world of death” she is stating how she’s experienced so many deaths that she is tired of seeing it and can no longer take the depression. With the deaths of many friends and family, Emily Dickinson writes quite a great deal on death and dying. In the poem “A Coffin is a small Domain”, the first stanza describes the space in which a person occupies after death.
Dickinson shows this by writing: “A coffin-is a small Domain/yet able to contain/A Citizen of Paradise/In it’s diminished Plane. ” In the second stanza it shows the real reality of what happens. “A Grave-is a restricted Breadth-. ” “Because in stanza one the limited space of the coffin has been juxtaposed to the infinity of the dead person’s new dwelling place, the poem is now minimizing the grave’s size in order to point out the spaciousness of an afterlife” (Cameron 200). “Because I could not stop for Death” is a great poem in which Dickinson uses death as a character that is a gentleman who takes a lady ut for a drive.
In the first stanza, Dickinson writes, “Because I could not stop for death,/he kindly stopped for me”. In this statement she explains how she can’t escape death and that death will keep coming no matter how much she wants it to end. In the second stanza, she says, “And I had put away/ my labor and my leisure too” . With this, she explains how she has to alter her busy schedule because of this character. Then in the third stanza she writes, We passed the School, where children strove At Recess-in the Ring- We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain- We passed the Setting Sun (Bender 72) She notes the daily routine of the life she is passing from. (Bender 72)
They pass the children, the fields and sun, which shows them passing the cycles of the day. Then in the fourth stanza the weather changes and it begins to get cold, passing the different seasons of the year. “Gradually, one realizes that Death as a person has receded into the background” (Bender 73). Death is a part of life, which goes on every day and every season of the year. The poem is on the subject of the daily realization on the occurrence of death.
“I heard a Fly buzz-when I died” is a poem that Emily Dickinson wrote n an imaginative perception of her own death. Dickinson renders with convincing and insightful detail the last sensations of a dying person” (Ferlazzo 49). The somber and hushed atmosphere of the opening lines are jarred by the ludicrous presence of a buzzing fly. All in the room is silent and still, yet filled with the anxious expectation of those caught in the eye of a storm. It was hoped among traditional Christians of Dickinson’s age that the last words or gestures of the dying person would indicate the destiny of the soul.
So the sorrowing observers of the second stanza stand in the breathless anticipation of the final oment when Death will appear to escort the deceased with all pomp and ceremony to her heavenly reward. ” (Ferlazzo 49 ) In the second stanza, Dickinson writes, “… For that last onset, when the king/Be witnessed in his power. ” Death is the king and he is the one with the absolute power.
In the fourth stanza, Dickinson writes, “With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,/Between the light and me;/And then the windows failed, and then/I could not see to see. The fly separates the dying person from the light, not just the light from the windows, but the bright amazing light of Heaven as well. Color, Caste, Denomination-” is another example of a poem that Emily Dickinson wrote on death. The first stanza describes how death is made known as a democrat. He cannot tell the difference between race, creed, or color. In the second stanza Dickinson writes, “As in sleep-all here forgotten,/Tenets, put behind,/ Death’s large democratic fingers/Rub away the brand. ” She describes how when someone dies their color is forgotten and that person is no longer “branded”.
In the third stanza, we find out “her belief in immortality, which appears in the image of the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. Death is not the end, then, but only one stage in our development, and can teach us much that our minuter intuitions deem incredible. ” The word immortality is said in many of Dickinson’s poems. Immortality means being immortal/never dying. It also means perpetual life after death. Death, and the problem of life after death, infatuated Emily Dickinson. I think the reason she uses the word “immortality” so much is because so many of her friends had died and didn’t like how her life began to be.
She couldn’t handle that all her friends and family were dying and wanted everyone to be immortal and not have to face death. Immortality is said in the poem, “The reticent volcano keeps”. Dickinson has a hard time accepting death and wants to know the secret of never having to die. In the third and final stanza of the poem it says, “Admonished by her buckled lips/let every babbler be. /The only secret people keep/Is Immortality. ” She makes a remark on how she could care less on what anyone has to say; the only thing she wants to hear is how to be able to live forever.
My life closed twice before its close; It yet remains to see If immortality unveil A third event to me, So huge, so hopeless to conceive, As these that twice befell. Parting is all we know of heaven, And all we need of hell. In this poem, Emily Dickinson is describing the pain she has felt in the past and that it has ended her life. “Despite her feeling, she is, of course, still physically alive, so that she can experience more than one loss and the pain of that loss. Obviously, “its close” at the end of line 1 refers to her literal death” (Melani). In the last two lines, Dickinson shows “a powerful paradox; parting is both heaven and hell.
We part with those who die and–hopefully–go to heaven, which is, ironically, an ternal happiness for them; however, we who are left behind suffer the pain (hell) of their deaths (parting)” (Melani). In the fourth to sixth lines, Dickinson asks what happens after death in immortality. She explains the pain she had suffered both times before. In conclusion, Emily Dickinson wrote much on death because of the depressing life she lived. With all the people dying around her, it’s no wonder why she wrote so much about death and dying. Her life was spent wondering who was going to die next; therefore she couldn’t stop and think about anything else.