The Reality of Death in Emily Dickinson's Poem, I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died

The Reality of Death in Emily Dickinson's Poem, I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died

Length: 2676 words (7.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

I Heard a Fly Buzz – When I Died –, written by Emily Dickinson, is an interesting poem in which the poet deals with the subject of death in a doubtful yet both optimistic and pessimistic ways. The central theme of the poem is the doubtfulness and the reality of death. The poem is written in a very unique point of view; the narrator who is speaking is already dead. By using symbols, irony, oxymoron, imagery and punctuation, the poet greatly succeeds in showing the reality of death and her own doubtful feelings towards time after death.

The use of fly in the poem, I Heard a Fly Buzz – When I Died –, act as a symbol which represents the hope of the person on her deathbed. The quietness in the room is described as “the Stillness in the Air/ Between the Heaves of Storm” (3-4). This indicates that people around the deathbed and the narrator are waiting quietly and calmly, standing between life and death, like the calmness between one storm and the other. However, the room is not completely quiet. The poem starts by saying “I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –/ the Stillness in the Room” (1-2), which means that the only noise heard in the room, where she is lying before death, is a fly buzzing. Interestingly, this has a significant meaning. The fly buzzing despite the quietness in the room is as if the fly is interfering between the life and death of the narrator. In other words, the sound of the fly gives the narrator, who is perhaps scared before death, the hope of life by allowing the narrator to keep her mind off the subject of death. Moreover, when the narrator says “I willed my Keepsakes – Singed away/ what portion of me be/ Assignable” (9-11), it shows that the narrator has completely organized his possessions by giving them to ...


... middle of paper ...


...ion or not, people come across the thought on what will happen to themselves after death. The poem best shows the people’s fear and doubtfulness toward the subject of death. Additionally, the reason that Emily Dickinson wrote the poem is quite clear: she also wanted an answer for the mysterious life after death, which no one has an answer to.



Works Consulted

Dickinson, Emily. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1976. Print.

Guthrie, James R. Emily Dickinson's Vision: Illness and Identity in Her Poetry. Gainesville: University of Florida, 1998. Print.

Miller, Cristanne. Emily Dickinson, a Poet's Grammar. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1989. Print.

Wilner, Eleanor. "The Poetics of Emily Dickinson." JSTOR. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Web. 4 June 2015.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/2872366?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Reality of Death in Emily Dickinson's Poem, I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died

- I Heard a Fly Buzz – When I Died –, written by Emily Dickinson, is an interesting poem in which the poet deals with the subject of death in a doubtful yet both optimistic and pessimistic ways. The central theme of the poem is the doubtfulness and the reality of death. The poem is written in a very unique point of view; the narrator who is speaking is already dead. By using symbols, irony, oxymoron, imagery and punctuation, the poet greatly succeeds in showing the reality of death and her own doubtful feelings towards time after death....   [tags: Analysis of I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died]

Term Papers
2676 words (7.6 pages)

Analysis of I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died and Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson

- Analysis of I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died and Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson wrote many poems in her lifetime. She writes two of my favorite poems. They are: ?I heard a Fly buzz when I died. and ?Because I could not stop for Death?. They both have similarities and differences from each other. There are similarities in these two poems such as the theme and the observentness of the narrator. Both of the poems themes involve death. In ?I heard a Fly buzz when I died?, the poet writes, ....   [tags: Papers Compare Contrast Poetry Dickinson Essays]

Term Papers
585 words (1.7 pages)

Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died Poems by Emily Dickinson

- Death is a controversial and sensitive subject. When discussing death, several questions come to mind about what happens in our afterlife, such as: where do you go and what do you see. Emily Dickinson is a poet who explores her curiosity of death and the afterlife through her creative writing ability. She displays different views on death by writing two contrasting poems: one of a softer side and another of a more ridged and scary side. When looking at dissimilar observations of death it can be seen how private and special it is; it is also understood that death is inevitable so coping with it can be taken in different ways....   [tags: eternity, calm transition]

Term Papers
810 words (2.3 pages)

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

- An average fly is only 1.2 millimeters in length. One may think an unpleasant fly is insignificant, though it can symbolize a much larger meaning. In Emily Dickinson’s commendable poem I Heard a Fly Buzz-When I Died, Dickinson negatively approaches religion in the fly that buzzes throughout the course of her poem resembles the evil one, death throughout the poem and where there is good there is evil around the corner. One can prove these methods by the three elements of symbolism, oxymoron and irony....   [tags: Death, Life, Good and evil, Emily Dickinson]

Term Papers
1551 words (4.4 pages)

Death in Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died

- Death in Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died Emily Dickinson's two poems, "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" and "I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died," revolve around one central theme, death. Though the two do centralize around the theme of death they both have slightly different messages or beliefs about what is to come after death. By discussing both of the poems and interpreting their meanings, the reader can gain a fuller understanding of the message Dickinson is trying to send to her audience and a greater feel for what may lie ahead in the afterlife....   [tags: Emily Dickinson Death Dying Literature Essays]

Term Papers
962 words (2.7 pages)

Comparing and Contrasting Dickinson’s Poems, Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz- When I Died

- Comparing and Contrasting Dickinson’s Poems, Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz - When I Died Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on 10th December, 1830, in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts. As a young child, she showed a bright intelligence, and was able to create many recognizable writings. Many close friends and relatives in Emily’s life were taken away from her by death. Living a life of simplicity and aloofness, she wrote poetry of great power: questioning the nature of immortality and death....   [tags: compare, contrast, Emily Dickinson]

Term Papers
846 words (2.4 pages)

Death in Dickinson's I heard a Fly Buzz When I died Essay

- Death in Dickinson's I heard a fly buzz when I died Emily Dickinson’s poem “I heard a fly buzz when I died” is a reflection on what happens when one dies. In the poem, the speaker is waiting to die. It seems as though they are expecting something spectacular to happen at the moment of their death. This spectacular event they are expecting does not happen. I heard a fly buzz when I died By Emily Dickinson I heard a fly buzz when I died; The stillness round my form Was like the stillness in the air Between the heaves of storm....   [tags: Emily Dickinson Poem Essays]

Term Papers
897 words (2.6 pages)

Issues of Mortality in Emily Dickinson’s “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died

- ... In Emily Dickinson’s poem “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I died” the poem seems to revolve about death. After reading the poem countless times many different meanings come to mind, but one seems particularly clear: Emily Dickinson is writing about how death can feel, how it happens, and what can be expected from it. The first line of the poem starts off with “I Heard a Fly Buzz-When I Died”, where Emily is starting to picture the idea of death. She sees people dying around her and she wants to feel what they are feeling, more specifically the feeling of death and life carrying on around you....   [tags: death, war, poem ]

Term Papers
599 words (1.7 pages)

Emily Dickinson 's I Heard A Fly Buzz - When I Died Essay examples

- Life is journey that all are forced to take and it always ends in the same place; death. Emily Dickinson was one of America’s great poets and she “defined herself and her experience by exclusion, by what she was not” (“Dickinson, Emily” 457). Death is a well versed topic for Dickinson due to her many poems dissecting the subject. In her poem “I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –“the subject is experiencing their last few moments along with the reader. Dickinson’s life experiences, writing style and even the echoes of Hamlet resonate to provide a picture of the transition between life and death....   [tags: Poetry, Life, Death, Dash]

Term Papers
1200 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Hope, Is The Thing With Feathers By Emily Dickinson

- The poem that will be analyzed is “ ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson. Born by the name, Emily Elizabeth Dickinson wrote this poem in 1861 and during that time she was experiencing an emotional crisis and her traumatized state of mind is believed to have inspired her to write prolifically. Throughout Emily 's life, she suffered a great loss of people which caused her to create an isolation between her outside and social world. Several works that were created by Emily were influenced by her experiences of death with her family and friends....   [tags: Emily Dickinson, Poetry, Rhyme, Amherst]

Term Papers
1394 words (4 pages)