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Emily Dickinson Poetry Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 02/19/2012 11:04 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51.5 
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Emily Dickinson Poetry Analysis
  1. “What mystery pervades a well”
  * The first line of the poem is significant, where the word “mystery” is used, immediately bringing forth connotations of the unknown and the incomprehensible, from nearly everything that surrounds us, to a broader whole, nature. She immediately juxtaposes the water in the well to a “neighbour from another world residing in a jar”, emphasizing that the barrier between the natural world where the water remains and the physical world, which we inhabit. Although the temporary physical barrier, “the jar”, may be broken, we cannot unfathom the perpetual mystery of another level of existence, that is, nature itself. The personification of the water is particularly effective in that it forces the reader to truly acknowledge the fact that water is part of a world of its own, the natural world, like we are to the physical world. This increases our sense of alienation from the natural world, because it emphasizes that the water is part of a self- contained whole, a person “residing in another world”, something we cannot reach.   Although we may be physically near to the water, as a “neighbour”, it belongs to another world where we can never truly belong to or completely understand.
  * Dickinson emphasizes on the superficiality of humans, as they observe the natural world. She highlights that humans do not look into depth at the natural world, stating “ Whose limit none have ever seen, but just his lid of glass”, showing that humans simply look at the exterior, and not the innermost qualities that define something. This view point can cause unnecessary fear for no apparent reason. She compares looking into a well to “Looking….In an abyss’s face”, through a powerful simile, bringing forth connotations of extreme uncertainty, and possible horror,
  * The 3rd and 4th paragraphs highlight that aspects of nature are interlinked, inseparable and unfearing of each other. They also serve to emphasize how...

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