Emily Dickinson 's Poem ' I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died `` Essay

Emily Dickinson 's Poem ' I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died `` Essay

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Emily Dickinson is one of the most well-regarded, and well-known American poets of today. Born in 1830s Massachusetts, she lived quite an introverted life, writing a collection of more than 1760 poems. She spent most of her early life in school, but later in adulthood, indoors, writing or reading literature. Many of her poems deal with life and death, and also immortality, with her poem, “I Heard a Fly buzz—when I died” not an exception. Emily usually did not give titles to her poems. Her works, instead, are titled as their first line, or given number by author Thomas H. Johnson in his book The Poems of Emily Dickinson. The poem “I Heard a Fly buzz—when I died” was numbered 465 according to Johnson’s analysis of the poems’ date of publication. The poem deals with the narrator’s point of view or experience during or after death with an apparent fly buzzing nearby. In “I Heard a Fly buzz—when I died”, Dickinson creates the point that people may believe in an afterlife, reincarnation, or whatever their belief dictates, but in their deathbed, the lingering feeling, the truth of their situation, that death is death and nothing else, will remain in their subconscious, and they will shortly realize this, as reality presents them this fact.
Unlike any other poem, Dickinson does not include a title for most of her works. This means that a title cannot be analyzed, therefore a jump to the first line of the first stanza must be done. The first line of “I Heard a Fly buzz—when I died” includes, “I Heard a Fly buzz—when I died—” (Dickinson 1). The significance the narrator is putting on the fly cannot be missed. Ironically, other than rot and decay, there is no significance or relation between death and flies. This could either show that the ...


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...n their deathbed, the truth, the reality of their situation, that death is death and nothing else, will remain in their subconscious, and will shortly be realized. Written in four parts, Emily sets up an interesting, attention grabbing first stanza, highlighting the significance of a fly to the death of a person. She continues to raise inquiry and interest as she introduces religion and reveals to the reader the narrator’s situation. This was followed by a conveyance of the narrator’s personality, showing kindness and generosity. A surprise then crashes in, revealing the significance of the fly as the harsh truth and reality, and the realization of the falsities of religion and the afterlife. She successfully communicates truth in atheism, the fallacy in the belief of religion, and theists’ futile resistance of finality, through the creation of an afterlife, a heaven.

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