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Analysis of "The Soul Selects her own Society"

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Kathy Joseph

on 15 December 2013

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Transcript of Analysis of "The Soul Selects her own Society"

Dickinson adds the motif of determination to show the resoluteness in which the soul has in making choices.
She includes this by saying that the valves of attention are closed "like stone." Stone is a known symbol of determination and finality.
Analysis of "The Soul Selects her own Society"
By Kathy Joseph

Being Stubborn
One motif in the poem is habit of being stubborn.
Once a human has made a decision about their company in life, it is hard for them personally to change this mindset.
An example of this is when in the poem, the soul doesn't react to the pausing chariots by her door or the emperor on her mat. She will not change from her decision to be in solitude.
Monetary Value
Another motif Dickinson portrays is that no matter how many valuables are offered to the soul, the soul will not sway in its decision to remain in solitude.
This is shown when Dickinson says "close the valves of attention" because this closes the mind and blocks it from worldly influences.
The Bandwagon
Another motif mentioned is refusing to jump on the bandwagon or be a part of the majority.
This is brought up when Dickinson says how the soul is closes her door to the "Divine Majority." She is refusing to go where everyone else is, preferring to stay by herself, safe and alone.
Dickinson introduces a motif of independence when she mentions the Emperor at her door.
Emperors govern lands and by refusing to do as he commands, the soul gains an independence from the ruling class.
This could also be linked to feminism and an escape from male authority.
The Main Theme of the Poem
The theme of this poem is the human habit of being selective about their ways of living.
Dickinson is trying to say that humans always make their own rules about who they will associate with and how they will spend their time.
This habit dictates how the whole world conducts their own personal lives.
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