Emily Dickinson uses nature in almost all of her poetry. She uses many literary techniques in her poems to show her interpretations of nature and the world around her. In the poem "The snake" she uses imagery in the forms sight and touch. The poem describes the snake as transient or passing swiftly and deceptive or misleading. His appearance is sudden. As the snake moves it divides the grass in one place, and as he moves, in another. The speaker has been deluded by the snake's appearance. It mistakes the snake for a whip or lash. This is a use of situational irony.
Emily also uses personification to give the snake human characteristics. She uses the words, "fellow", "rides", and "comb" which are normally seen as human related terms. Also she describes the ground as a "floor" which suggests a house, rather than outdoors which can bee seen as a symbol for the snake being more than just an animal. This is another way to show that the snake is almost human-like. She goes on to say that "The grass divided as with a comb", which uses more imagery and a simile to again relate the snake to a human object.
Further on in the poem she describes the snake as it gets closer to the speaker and then farther away. As the snake goes by her it brushes her leg and she talks about how she feels for nature great overwhelming emotion. In the fifth stanza the words emphasize the speaker's connection with nature and her people. The snake is included in "natures people" and she feels a connection with it. The speaker feels "a tighter breathing" and zero at the bone" every time the snake goes by her. The connotation of "tighter breathing" s...
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...and took advantage of it always being there and that she was acting selfish. Finally, the speaker realizes that she should have spent more time nurturing and caring for the flower instead of just figuring that it would be there the next day.
Emily Dickinson's writing style tended to change as her moods changed. Many of her poems were very literal and used little connotations, symbols, or allusions while on the other hand many of her other poems were full of these same qualities. Emily very much wrote for herself and not for other people so sometime it is hard because she doesn't always keep her same style of writing and use of literary terms. All of her poems were good it just depended on who was reading them and how they interpreted them.
Franklin, R. W. ed. The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1998. PS1541 .A1
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