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"The Soul Selects Her Own Society"

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by

Alma Maldonado

on 6 December 2013

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Transcript of "The Soul Selects Her Own Society"

"The Soul Selects Her Own Society"
Emily Dickinson

"The Soul selects her own Society--
Then--shuts the Door--
To her divine Majority--
Present no more--
Unmoved-- she notes the Chariots--pausing--
At her low Gate--
Unmoved--an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat--
I've known her--from an ample nation--
Choose One--
Then--close the Valves of her attention--
Like Stone--"
Theme
The theme of this poem is that one must follow their intuition, their instinct, their heart, and keep what everyone else thinks of them away and not just "follow the trends of popular culture".
-The soul chooses what's best for oneself and has to shut out society and has to keep it out of their mind.

-Personification: "The Soul selects her own society--" This makes the poem relateable to the reader and helps the reader feel more connected.

-Slant Rhyme: "Society:Majority; Door:More" This adds to the effect of the poem and gives it lyric appeal to the reader.

-Metaphor: "The Soul= A person; The Door=her cares and feelings; divine Majority= pop culture, popular things in life, pop culture is "like royalty" "This gives a deeper meaning to the message of the poem and makes the reader think about the theme.

-Alliteration: "Soul Selects her own Society" This impacts the lyric appeal of the poem.

- Assonance: "Door; Majority; More" These words connect the poem together without being obvious and makes the poem flow.

- Slant rhyme: "pausing:kneeling; gate:mat"

- Metaphors: Chariots=temptation; Gate=the mind; "an Emperor be kneeling upon her Mat"= she could have good things in her grasp if she wanted to

- Consonance: Chariots, Gate, Mat
- Slant Rhyme: nation:attention; one:stone

- Metaphor: "Choose One; Valves of her attention"

- Simile: "Like Stone" This helps the reader connect to the poem
Tone
The tone of this poem is serious, authoritative, and a bit rebellious. This reflects Dickinson's Transcendental nature of individuality.
Our poem connects with the essay on Dickinson's life in many ways. The essay emphasizes how she, despite her limitations, managed to choose her own path in life and do what she enjoyed. Her experience with Mabel Loomis Todd could have inspired her to write this poem and Todd may have been the "Divine Majority" mentioned in her poem, thus claiming to not be influenced by her.
Full transcript