November 5, 2012
“The soul selects her own society” By Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson’s poem, “The soul selects her own society”, is very vague and has many double meanings that are difficult to understand the first time read. In “The soul selects her own society”, Emily Dickinson uses diction, imagery, and symbols to show her dedication to her poetry and her suitor. Through diction and imagery, Dickinson is able to define what is literally happening and the figurative meanings behind the words. The symbols describe the seclusion after choosing one suitor and shutting out the world. In the poem, Dickinson uses diction to show what is literally happening and the figurative meanings behind the words written. Dickinson presents the individual as unqualified and the rights of the individual as absolute. The opening statement “The soul selects her own society” gives the thought that the poem may be about Emily Dickinson; although, later in the poem the use of “her” begs the question of whom it is. In doing so, the third person narration allows the reader to relate the poem to themselves, friends, or family. The poem’s appearance, written in lines of two, shows Dickinson’s wants of another. The thought of another could be her “divine majority” or it could be another suitor “kneeling upon her mat.” The other person that Dickinson hints at in her poem is another suitor. In the poem “The soul selects her own society’ Dickinson is excluding everyone except one. The soul is “shutting the door” on her divine majority which signifies her loss of opportunity. The soul notices “the chariot’s pausing- at her low gate” but stands unmoving. The chariot describes wealth and a god-like appeal while the low gate is a connotation of her lower class. “Unmoving an emperor is kneeling-upon her mat”, this is describing the emperor’s physical actions not to move from the soul’s mat. Nonetheless the soul will not emotionally move for she has made up her mind. “Then close the valves...
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