Poetry Analysis- I'M Nobody! Who Are You?

Topics: English-language films, Meaning of life, Poetry Pages: 2 (541 words) Published: March 18, 2012
“I’m nobody! Who are you?” is one of Emily Dickinson’s most important works from her poetry career. This poem addresses the idea of being accepted in society, or as some critics see it, a coming of age and transformation into the adult world. The speaker is seen as an outcast almost calling out the society that they are in. The aspect of Dickinson’s reclusiveness in her life is shown by this poem with her pointing out the wrongs of a society that everyone is supposed to be a part of. There is also a strong selection of diction used to create the imagery and the tone of the work. This is one characteristic that can be seen in almost all of the works of Emily Dickinson. Although there are many interpretations and many disagreements to the meaning of this poem, it still remains on of Dickinson’s most popular of all time.

The first line of the poem reads “I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody too? (Dickinson)” This is the first testimony that the author is separating themselves from regular society. Rather than claiming to have an identity and individuality, the author says that they are nobody. Then they go on to question whether the reader is also nobody. This leads the reader to believe that there is no true identity for people and the society is simple a created thing. This logic serves as an explanation for the strangeness of Emily Dickinson and her life. There is a strong possibility that this is how she actually felt about the world and in turn this caused her to seclude herself from everyone else because she felt that she was nobody (Leiter). She then says that if there is a pair of people who have made the conclusion that the society is not right, that they must not let it be known because they would be outcast (Dickinson). This is almost a call to the reader to question their society.

Along with the idea of banishment from society, another interpretation is that this is a poem about coming of age and the confusion of adolescents (Leiter). This is...
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