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Copy of Literary Devices in Emily Dickinson

Grade 11 IB english summative June 2012, Emily Dickinson poems and the literary devices

Sarah Derbyshire

on 17 January 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Literary Devices in Emily Dickinson

Literary Devices in Emily Dickinson Poetry Metaphor Syncope Personification Contrast Paradox Alliteration Imagery Metaphor Allusion Alliteration repetition simile alliteration juxtaposition Hyperbole "Success is counted sweetest... a nectar"
Success is compared to a dessert or something sweet like candy, like a treat that is rarely had
It is a common perception of success as many don't see the losses that go into the ultimate gain "Success is counted sweetest by those who never succeed"
If the person never succeeds then how can they know what it is like and count it like anything?
these two lines are paradoxical because the person defining success is someone who hadn't experienced it rather than the triumphant one who had experienced it "ne'er"
used to reduce the syllables from 2 to 1 in order to keep with the scheme of 8,6,8,6 per stanza "defeated, dying"
adds emphasis on the words and the idea
usually 3+ words together but Emily Dickinson uses 2 words starting with the same letter rather than 3
she also uses repetitive sounds
success, sweetest
PurPle "As he, defeated, dying
on whose forbidden ear
the distant strains of triumph
burst agonized and clear!"
creates an image in the readers head of a soldier dying after a battle
most people do think of success as something wonderful and amazing but they often don't think of the loss that often comes with it
for example, in war, many lives are often lost before victory, or success, is achieved
it is still a success, but a bittersweet one The whole poem is composed of 2 contrasting views of success
the first is that it is sweet and brings happiness and is an achieved goal, an accomplishment
the other is that there is loss and that it is bittersweet
that there must be loss for there to be gain "Not one of all the purple host"
purple is the colour for royalty and the purple host would most likely be a king or someone of great power
one of all the purple host would be referring to the soldiers
This encourages the mental image of a king with the army Entire poem could be a metaphor
Icarus and Daedalus
tried to escape a prison on an island by flying with wax wings but they flew to high close to the sun and were never heard from again
2 lovers eloping
Meet, run away together, get a boat and set sail, were either lost at sea or lived at sea as they weren't heard from again "Two butterflies went out at noon
and waltzed above a stream"
butterflies can't waltz
adds an understanding of elegance and a visual that they are so graceful it looks like they are dancing "Then stepped straight through..."
butterflies cannot step "If spoken by the distant bird"
birds cannot speak
birds are classically thought of as messengers and very talkative creatures as during the warmer months there are always birds chirping to one another
Passing along a message "Two butterflies went out at noon
And waltzed above a stream"
Comparing the butterflies to dances as they are waltzing
connotations of dancers include elegance and grace and butterflies also can be seen as elegant and graceful creatures "through the firmament"
firmament is the sky or heavens especially when seen as an object that can be touched which is why it is said "stepped through the firmament"
I think that it is the butterflies stepping through the sky to the heavens
adds a surreal property as the heavens are though to be beautiful, majestic and bright
also, the word "ether" is later used which adds to this as it is the upper regions of the sky beyond the clouds, where heaven is thought to be "shining sea"
As mentioned before, Emily Dickinson uses alliteration by putting 2 words with the same starting sounds together rather than 3
the words have similar connotations and being put right next to each other with the same starting sounds helps to put the image she wants into the reader's head "He flung a menace"
referring to the wind as a he and also implying that the wind has the ability to fling something or someone
the way the wind is referred to it seems almost as if it was a frightening person "thunder hurried"
thunder has no feet and therefore cannot hurry
gives the idea that the clouds are rolling in quickly booming with thunder "livid claw"
Firstly, a claw can't be livid, it has no emotions and therefore cannot show extreme anger
Secondly, the line before added to this one is
"the lightning showed a yellow beak, and then a livid claw"
lightning can make the image of a sort of claw in the air but it most certainly cannot be "livid"
used to add more of a sinister and menacing image in the reader's head "flung a menace at the earth,
then a menace at the sky"
there is repetition of "a menace at the"
reader understands that the wind is flinging both, also one is going up and one is going down
furthers the idea in the reader's head of a "menace" "dust did scoop itself like hands"
comparing the way the dust was blown and scooped to the way that hands cup things
simile because of the use of like
Adds a mental image of dust hands to the reader's mind, used to get the idea across in the way Emily Dickinson wanted "dust did"
very minor alliteration
shows a consistency of adding some type of alliteration
once again, 2 words together rather than 3+ "thunder hurried slow"
two opposing ideas
if it is hurrying than it shouldn't be slow as hurrying implies swiftness
causes the reader to pause and reread the line to take it in fully
then causes the reader to ponder what exactly is meant by that statement
Personally, I think it implies that the thunder in the clouds has started early even though the clouds are rolling in slower, like before a summer shower when thunder can be heard and sometimes lightning seen long before the actual storm rolls in And then, as if the hands
that held the dams had parted hold"
compares the rainclouds to hands that hold closed dams
provides a mental image in the reader's mind of the rainclouds just parting and having the rain just come down all at once in a rush, like when a dam is suddenly lowered or opened and the water surges forth "waters wrecked the sky"
2 words together to further consistency
really gets the image into a person's head when two words start with the same sound and mean similar things
water is powerful, surging forwards and pulling things into its depth, rounding off rocks and crashing on shores during a storm
to wreck something is to destroy something, mostly used when thinking about a ship that went down at sea
a ship wreck
connects with water "giant rain"
rain cannot really be giant
gives the idea of raindrops that cover you in water quickly because they aren't the small drops when it is barely raining or the pellet drops that almost hurt when they touch
they are the summer raindrops that are almost soft, but you find yourself quickly soaked by them as they seem to cover a lot more than they should
not really giant, but large in comparison to normal or small raindrops -syncope
-short alliteration
-imagery Commonly Seen Literary Devices: example:
"and then 't was put among the dust"
death sets a thing
"'T was so unlike the crumb"
I had been hungry
"Where the storm is o'er?"
wondrous sea
-when she uses it, it is mostly to stay with the amount of syllables per stanza
-she also uses "'t" a lot rather than "it" -she uses alliteration but not the conventional sense where there are 3+ words in a row, she usually uses only 2 words to get here point across and add to the mental image she's trying to portray without going overboard or taking away from the overall poem with too many same sound words personification is used everywhere in her poetry if it can be used to create, add or grow a mental image in some way repetition is used quite often, especially in punctuation
in all three of the poems I circled but didn't mention the use of dashes --
they are used frequently in Emily Dickinson's poetry
Also, when she really wants to get a point across such as repeating "a menace at the..." metaphors are used to develop an idea and image in the reader's head, many of her poems involve a metaphor either in some staza(s) or in the poem overall Imagery can be found in many different aspects of her poetry
many of the literary devices used if not all of them are used to add an image, improve it and solidify it in the reader's mind to get the idea of the poem across
imagery is really important as it really helps the reader grasp the poetry overall direct and to the point
flowing like poetry
sudden stops sometimes like that in some of Emily Dickinson poetry where it seems to flow and rhyme before it stops suddenly Why do a prezi?
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