The Strength within Oneself
Emily Dickinson depicts an empire built within the poet’s mind in the poem “The Soul selects her own Society.” When one devotes all himself into building a substantial world in the inner world (the mind), he is past caring the things happening in the outer world. It seems superficially nothing; however, the empire within the mind is much stronger than one can ever imagine. The power of one’s mind can be equal, or even greater, to the whole universe. The first line “The Soul selects her own Society” adopts the usage of alliteration, which can draw the attention of the readers. This line includes three key words, which are “Soul”, “selects” and “Society”( 1) ; these three words point out the main idea of the poem. Later, the following two stanzas will gradually uncover Emily Dickinson’s idea that one has the power to decide which environment is the most desirable one. A disputable feature in Emily Dickinson’s poems is her “Eccentric Capitalization,” which are common nouns being capitalized. In “The Soul selects her own Society,” there are eleven common nouns capitalized, and some of which, including “Majority”(3), “Present”(4), “Chariot”(5) and “Emperor”(7), can be categorized as “courtly terms.” The function of these words is to emphasize the autonomy of mind and that the soul, which is majestic and sacred, is the emperor of oneself. In the first stanza, Emily Dickinson declares that a soul forms a unique kingdom that she best fits in. After the determination is made, there is no need to recommend any candidates. The word “Majority” in line three refers to legal adulthood, a stage which one has the entire possession of adulthood; it also takes on the connotation that one can make his own choices and that no one can
interfere in his decision. The word “Present” in line four is a pun; it means not only to give and provide but also means to introduce. As long as the soul develops the true recognition of self, it no longer needs...
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