Essay on Emily Dickinson 's A Loaded Gun

Essay on Emily Dickinson 's A Loaded Gun

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An accomplished poet, Emily Dickinson considered many topics that were once seen as controversial. Ideas of religion, death, and women all play large factors within her poetry. In some cases, the reader must decipher a deeper meaning than what lays upon the surface. Dickinson contemplates the identity of women within “[My Life had stood- a Loaded Gun]”. Rich with symbolism, the speaker puts forth a sense of destructive power that women behold, yet are trapped from using until they speak out. The relationship between master and gun is representative of Dickinson’s view of a connection between wife and husband.
Within “[My Life had stood- a Loaded Gun]”, Emily references the identity of women during her time period. The poem holds the intricate notion that women are objectified in society. “My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun” introduces the poem, representing the life of not only the speaker, but of women as a whole (Dickinson, 1). This line is taken to show that women stand ready for power. The Loaded Gun indicates the capability a woman had within the society of the time. Dickinson ends the stanza by suggesting that women stand at the ready until they are of use. “The Owner passed – identified – and carried Me away” (Dickinson, 3-4). The identity of women is strongly suggested within these lines, for the owner can be perceived as man. What Dickinson is proposing, is that women must be still until the man comes to retrieve them. The “gun” stayed motionless until it was taken, implying it is the man’s choice whether the woman is allowed out into society; identifying women as an object, continually belittled by those on top. Dickinson moves on to reference a patriarchal culture within the second stanza. “and now we roam in sovereig...


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...to her views on the subject; saying marriage is not the answer to a well purposed life. The relationship between master and gun is quite clearly a metaphoric reference to the demanding hold of marriage and the identity of women in this age.
Emily Dickinson is a widely studied poet, whose works hold numerous meanings. Having completed around one thousand eight hundred poems, she is known for her talk of death, religion, and womanhood, all seen as controversial topics at the time she wrote them. Her discussion of the feminine is not apparent to the reader right away, within “My Life had stood a – loaded gun”. Dickinson tended to create hidden meanings within her poetry, so the reader must decipher her words. She speaks of the identity of women in a society run my men. The poem, great in its hidden meaning, holds thoughts of a woman’s destructive power of a long held

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