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Essay I Like The Look Of Agony

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I Like a Look of Agony

In the poem “I like a look of Agony,” by Emily Dickinson, one of the ways the poem’s affects on the reader is improved is though the use of literary devices. People normally have trepidation of agony, but Dickinson uses literary devices such as imagery, personification, and connotation to reveal her contrasting enjoyment to the social norm. The opening line “I like a look of Agony,” (line 1) could be interpreted as sadistic and cold. Completely reading the poem allows the reader to understand what the first line actually means. Dickinson does not like a look of agony because she enjoys watching others suffer; she is fascinated by the expression of agony. The second line of the poem “Because I know it’s true-,” (line 2) offers some insight into why she has this fascination. Many human emotions can be falsely projected or controlled. People tend to feel comfortable when they are in control of their emotions. People who are in agony cannot only experience pain but can also be removed from their comfort zone. This potential for lose of control can therefore evoke fear in people. No one can fake the physical reactions accompanying agony. The line “impossible to feign,” (line 6) is Dickinson’s way of expressing the hopelessness in trying to disguise the reactions. People are used to being in control and interacting with people who also have this control. It can be uncomfortable for people to watch others in agony because it reminds them of how, if they were in the same situation, it would be impossible to disguise the pain. This loose of control is the focus of her fascination, and her motivation for writing this poem.
Dickinson uses imagery to describe the reactions from the pain. Imagery of physical reactions to agony can convey feeling associated with it to the reader, but Dickinson contrasts this with her own views. The physical reactions of a convulsion, a throe, and eyes glazing over are effective as reminders because they all have a connotation of pain and death. Pain is something that tends to evoke an instinctual fear in people, so as Dickinson describes the painful reactions people have, the reader is reminded of this fear. Because it makes reference to death, the strongest of these descriptions is the one referring to the eyes. “The Eyes glaze once- and that is Death-,” (line 5) creates a vision of a slow process of death. Not o...


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...on of agony as a sincere and genuine emotion by using literary devices to
Her perception of agony is
as a sincere and genuine emotion

Dickinson uses literary devices to reveal to her reader her preception of agony and a sincere and genuine emotion.
enjoys watching
uses literary devices to create a ironic look at agony
Dickinson uses literary devices to creates a paradoxical look at agony and grab readers attention

It is natural for people to have trepidation of agony, people are uncomfortable watching others who they are accustomed to seeing in control, overcome with physical pain and anguish.

but because of the plain and simple lifestyle Emily Dickinson lead; she felt a connection with the simplicity that an emotion like agony was described as possessing.
Dickinsons use of literary devices creates deeper meanings for her ironic look at agony

Dickinson uses irony, personification, and metaphores/connotation, to reveal her perception of agony in contrast to the normal human reaction.

People normally have trepidation of agony, but Dickinson uses literary devices such as irony, personification, and metaphores/connotation/imagery to reveal her contrasting enjoyment to the norm.


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