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Emily Dickinson The Last Night That She Lived Courtney Pherson
Transcript of Emily Dickinson The Last Night That She Lived Courtney Pherson
It was a common night,
Except the dying; this to us
Made nature different.
We noticed smallest things,—
Things overlooked before,
By this great light upon our minds
Italicized, as 'twere.
That other could exist
While she must finish quite,
A jealousy for her arose
So nearly infinite.
We waited while she passed;
It was a narrow time,
Too jostled were our souls to speak,
At length the notice came.
She mentioned, and forgot;
Then lightly as a reed
Bent to the water, shivered scarce,
Consented, and was dead.
And we, we placed the hair,
And drew the head erect;
And then an awful leisure was,
Our faith to regulate. Relating to many of Dickinson's poems, "The Last Night That She Lived" examines the concept of death and human emotion. However, rather than intensifying death, Dickinson applies death as a simple process in human life. Dickinson emphasizes the dichotomy between life and death, and that they are opposites. The second stanza shows much symbolism of the woman's death. As they too notice things they have never noticed before. As events such as death take place, people tend to be swallowed deeper into thought. In the begginning of this poem, Dickinson explains how is was an ordinary night for the common people, except for the woman on her death bed. The woman has realized many important things in her life that she never knew were so important until this very moment. There is much emotion spread between the witnesses at her death bed. "Nature" looked different to them because they had to see the destructiveness of it. They see things differently and distinctly as someone important to them is passing away in their presence. After the first two stanzas, the next four contrast the woman's situation and mental state as well as the witnesses. They pace in and out of the room nervously because they know there is nothing they can do. They become angry that this woman has to die while others get to live. They become jealous in her defense and her right to live. In the fifth stanza the death of the woman arrives and she is prepared for burial. The atmosphere quickly develops into a depressed fashion. The witnesses are bothered and horrified. They do not want her to die, but the woman accepts her death willingly and voluntarily. The fourth stanza uses metaphors such as "narrow time" and "jostled souls," to explain the feelings of sorrow of the people surrounding the woman. LIFE DEATH VS. The fifth stanza uses a simile to compare the woman to a Reed in a graceful manner. "The Last Night That She Lived" by Emily Dickinson can be summarized as having the concept of death as its central theme. The way Dickinson has written it and the tone she gives to her characters, suggests her obsession with death and her longing to embrace and accept death as a simple way of life.