Essay about Loaded Gun Symbolism Depicted in Emily Dickinson's Poem, 754

Essay about Loaded Gun Symbolism Depicted in Emily Dickinson's Poem, 754

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In the beginning of Emily Dickinson’s poem “754,” the narrator immediately compares her life to a weapon, “My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun --” (754). Usually, when one thinks of a gun, he or she might think of death instead of love. In most cases, when a person owns or has a possession of a gun, that person might use the gun for protection. A gun is an inanimate object that has the potential or power to take the life of a human. From analyzing the poem “754,” the narrator symbolizes a loaded gun, full of potential, full of power, waiting to be in the possession of its owner for protection just as a bride waits to be wedded by her husband.
The owner, assumed to be male, claims the narrator, assumed to be female, in the first stanza of the poem such as a husband claims his wife by marriage. As established, the first line of the poem describes the narrator’s life as a weapon, or in other terms, an object with prospective. As the poem continues, Dickison illustrates a location where the object exists, “My Life has stood -- a Loaded Gun / In Corners --” (754). The narrator is waiting for someone to give her meaning. She has rested lonely in a corner. However, she is filled with purpose like a gun filled with bullets. The speaker is “loaded” and has the potential to be used to a certain degree. Soon the narrator’s potential is recognized and is suddenly taken into possession, “Till a Day / The Owner passed -- identified / And carried Me away --” (754). This image of the owner taking the narrator away can be compared to a groom carrying his bride away after a wedding.
Similar to husband and wife, the narrator and the owner becomes one in the second stanza. Dickinson shows the two become one by using the pronoun, we. Tog...


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...tance is the narrator, in the first stanza, goes from its potential state, being taken into possession, to being fully recognized of its ability in the last stanza.
In a general context, many people suppose that we all live with one essential purpose, intentionally or subconsciously, to find that one genuine love that makes us whole. A person who discovers his or her significant other can be proudly declared as one. Like the narrator in the poem, some people’s lives resemble loaded guns, full of power, but lifeless until the owner comes to claim them. Like a bride being “carried” by her groom, the narrator is taken away by her owner. “Carried” in such a way a gun is held for protection. It is only ‘til death does she part when the owner can truly live longer than the narrator, which would result in the gun being used to its full capacity or without bullets.

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