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I Like The Look Of Agony

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Length: 1594 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
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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...


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...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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