Analysis of Emily Dickinson's "I'm Nobody! Who are you?"

One of Emily Dickinson's most popular poems is "I'm Nobody! Who are you"? This poem seems to have a light and funny theme because it is about a "nobody". Since most people usually think they are "somebody's", Emily tells them that they really are not. She puts people in their place by telling them that they don't seem to matter as much as they think they do while making them question who they really are. "Are you - Nobody - Too?" she asks the reader to think about what they think of themselves (2).

This poem tells us that people are all the same "nobody" because they conform and become the same person without knowingly doing it. Although these people are different inside they actually seem to appear the same in groups and jobs. There are tons of people that think they are "somebody's" because of their fancy jobs and cars, but Emily Dickinson tells us that they are exactly the same as the person they are sitting next to on the bus when their car breaks down. "Don't tell! they'd advertise - you know!" here Dickinson tells us that we shouldn't tell people we are a "nobody" because that would really make them think of you as an inadequate person, but the truth is if you know you are a "nobody" you will be better off (4).

It also seems that she is talking about celebrities because she says "How dreary - to be - somebody! How public - like a Frog-" which makes me think of famous people because they don't have any privacy because their lives are "public", but we still want to be like them (5-6). In this poem Emily Dickinson helps us learn that we should stop thinking highly of ourselves because we really are just like everybody else.

Works Cited

Charters. Literature and It's Writers 3rd Edition. Boston, MA. : Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004. p. 870
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