Allegory In Emily Dickinson's Hope The Thing With Feathers

Good Essays
Emily Dickinson’s Hope the thing with feathers is a poem about the merits of hope and

its absence in a significant amount of people. This poem is written in an iambic trimeter with

three quatrains. When one reads this poem, it has a sense of rhyme and rhythm. Each line

consequently goes with the next, and it continues like that smoothly. When writing poetry, the

use of grammar is not needed. So when it is placed in a poem, it often stands for something

important. An example of this can be seen in the capitalization of the words Gale, Bird, Sea, and

Extremity. Dickinson is known for capitalizing various words throughout her poetry, some of

which carry no importance. In this poem, Dickinson uses visual imagery, alliteration, and
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The speaker may be talking about his/her personal

problems, saying that even in the weirdest and darkest places, hope is still found. The speaker

ends with the fact that even at an intense point, it never “asked a crumb from” him/her (l.12).

The speaker uses the word crumb as a way to connect it back to the comparison with the bird.

Dickinson’s poem uses two allegories throughout the entire poem. The first allegory is

the allegory of the songbird and hope. The songbird and hope are similar, and the speaker

continues to use it throughout the poem. S/he also uses the analogy of the bird, which carries

itself throughout the whole of this poem. The second allegory Dickinson uses is the allegory

between the human struggles and the struggles of the speaker in the poem. S/he also uses visual

imagery by constructng an image of the actions the bird does. Such as, “Perches in the soul.”

(l.2) and “sings the tune without the words –” (l.3). The speaker also uses alliteration, such as,

“without the words” (l.3), “strangest sea” (1.10), which brings colorful images to the minds of

the readers. The symbol of this poem is the bird which is a symbol of hope and the lack
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