Laws of Nature: A Theme in Emily Dickinson Poetry

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In the majority of her poems, Emily Dickinson focuses on the laws of nature, and she discusses transformations, death, and the cycle of life. Dickinson spent a lot of time during her life thinking about nature and the world around her. In poem 173, Dickinson is in awe of the transformation that occurs when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, and, in poem 191, she is once again describing the interaction of different components of nature. Aside from both being about animals and the environment, the poems are both about the complexity and mystique of nature and Dickinson’s admiration for it. The two poems reflect Emily Dickinson’s views that nature is mysterious and ineffable, and that it is better to personally wonder about nature and search yourself rather than to just consider the facts.

In both poems, the narrators’ detailed observations aid the reader in developing his or her insight into nature. In poem 173, many of Dickinson’s descriptions are words such as “velvet”, “silk”, “plush”, and “feather”. These specific words allow the reader to realize the subject, and the fact...
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