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Emily Brontë - To a Wreath of Snow

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Megan Hollis

on 24 November 2016

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Transcript of Emily Brontë - To a Wreath of Snow

Emily's background
• born on 30 July 1818 in the village of Thornton, West Riding of Yorkshire, in Northern England
• younger sister of Charlotte Brontë and the fifth of six children but the two oldest girls, Maria and Elizabeth, died in childhood
• Despite the lack of formal education, she had access to a wide range of published material; favourites included Sir Walter Scott, Byron, Shelley, and Blackwood's Magazine
• In their leisure time the children began to write fiction at home and created a number of fantasy worlds (Angria)
• When Emily was 13, she and Anne withdrew from participation in the Angria story and began a new one about Gondal, a fictional island whose myths and legends were to preoccupy the two sisters throughout their lives
• tendency to seclusion; except to go to church or take a walk on the hills, she rarely crossed the threshold of home
• A newspaper dated 31 December 1899, gives the folksy account that "with bird and beast [Emily] had the most intimate relations, and from her walks she often came with fledgling or young rabbit in hand, talking softly to it, quite sure, too, that it understood
• Emily believed that her health, like her sisters', had been weakened by the harsh local climate and by unsanitary conditions at home
• To a Wreath of Snow’ was written in December 1837, the same month and year Anne fell seriously ill

O
transient
voyager of heaven!
O
s
ilent
s
ign
of winter
s
kie
s
!
What
adverse
wind thy sail has driven
To
dungeons
where a
prisoner
lies?
Stanza 1

Methinks the
hands
that shut the sun
So
sternly
from this mourning brow
Might still their rebel task have done
And checked a thing so
frail
as thou
Stanza 2
They
would have done it had
they
known
The
talisman
that
dwelt
in thee,
For all the suns that ever
shone
Have
never been so kind
to me!
Stanza 3
For many a week, and many a day
My heart was weighed with
sinking
gloom
When morning
rose
in
mourning
grey
And faintly lit my
prison
room
Stanza 4
But
angel like
, when I awoke,
Thy
s
ilvery form
s
o
s
oft and fair
Shining through darkne
ss
,
s
weetly
s
poke
Of cloudy skies and mountains bare
Stanza 5
The dearest to a mountaineer
Who, all life long has loved the snow
That
crowned
her native summits drear,
Better, than greenest plains below –
Stanza 6
And voiceless, soulless
messenger
They presence waked a thrilling tone
That
comforts
me while thou art here
And will
sustain
when thou art gone
Stanza 7
The snow is personified throughout the poem
portrayed as frail which links to her sister's health
Snow brings hope and light into the dark world, so her sister brings joy into her life
The snow, like her sister, brings her comfort and reassurance.
the purity of snow represents the shreds of hope she still clutches to
she awaits her sister's good health, much like she awaits the snow's appearance in the winter
Snow in the poem
Emily Brontë - To a Wreath of Snow
Explanation
:
The snow is a gift from heaven coming down to earth. Asking why it would leave heaven to come to earth
moving, not permanent
sibilance
something is missing
change
A. G. Almeda
fictional character from the world she created with her sister
Augusta Almeda, the Queen of Gondal
Emily was attempting to escape the reality of her sister’s illness by falling back into the fantasy world they created together
negative connotation suggests it was blown off course or only brought to earth because of wrong doing
represent earth and confinement
or could represent her room/mental state
represents herself or humanity
extreme metaphor -> possible depression
Explanation:
Hopes that God still checks up on the snow as it falls
hands of God
criticism of God
he controls the weather so he is creating this darkness
weakness, illness
relates to sister's illness and her sister could be the snow
Explanation:
The snow is more blessed than the sun
Sun is harsher than the snow
overall emphasis on the fact that she loves snow
Explanation:
Waiting for the snow and disappointed that the snow did not come
something is wrong
repetition from stanza 2

emphasis on feeling trapped
relates to helplessness concerning sister's health
Explanation:
The snow has arrived and has transformed the world from darkness to light
snow described as pure and innocent
sibilance
positive language to describe the beauty of the snow
metaphor
light portrays hope
Explanation
:
mountaineer appreciates the beauty of the snow more
royalty was seen to be chosen by God and so this imagery portrays the snow as being a gift from God
Explanation:
Snow has revived her and given her new hope
uses a metaphor of Augusta’s heart ‘sinking’ when the morning ‘rose’. This creates an image that when one thing goes down something else has to go up.
could therefore suggest that to compensate for God’s gift of the snow falling, Anne’s life has to be a gift back to God.
personification
messenger of hope or a change of seasons
reignited a sense of hope/comfort
magic powers, brings good luc
k
innate, god-given
God (better than human; not singular)
juxtoposition
Full transcript