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Theres a certain slant of light essay

There is a Certain Slant of Light - Example Essay 2 "Oppression, like the weight of cathedral tunes" How does Dickinson show oppression in poem 258 and in her other work.

Without a doubt, oppression is one of the key symbols of Dickinson's poems. We see in a lot of her poems, as well as "There's a certain slant of light", her emphasis on entrapment; for example, "I heard a fly buzz" and "It was not death for I stood up" where she deliberately states "As if my life were shaven And fitted to a frame".

These notes were completed in May 2014.

Oppression is often shown through as being stuck in the state of nothingness after life, and sometimes Dickinson uses this theme to express female suppression, like in "What mystery pervades a well". It is common in Dickinson's poem to have a key symbol, and we can argue that oppression is the symbol in "There's a certain slant of light".

  1. Dickinson quite often uses linguistic devises to express her inner emotion. There is a Certain Slant of Light - Example Essay 2 "Oppression, like the weight of cathedral tunes" How does Dickinson show oppression in poem 258 and in her other work.
  2. The broken structure can also be seen in "A bird came down the walk" as she is frightened by the barbaric bird and tries to hide away.
  3. This could be interpreted as an attempt to escape oppression, as she tries to break away from the regular structure.
  4. Oppression is a very general term where it can be interpreted in many different ways; In "There's a certain slant of light", Dickinson mainly focuses on entrapment, in which she expresses her impatient with the end of life. Dickinson also uses a variety of linguistic techniques to strengthen her feelings.
  5. As for afternoons, they could represent one's life, passing youth, waiting upon it's death. Perhaps, she is suggesting her feelings as being trapped in life, not being able to escape; there is a real sense of gravity shown by "the weight" and the "cathedral tune" which is often dragged out and tiresome.

We can see it from the first stanza where Dickinson seems to suggest that the light is oppressing her; "winter afternoon" depicts a picture where nothing is alive and nothing is new, as leafs fall and flowers wilt.

As for afternoons, they could represent one's life, passing youth, waiting upon it's death.

These notes were completed in May 2014.

Similarly in "I heard a fly buzz", Dickinson also uses something, "a fly", as a symbol of oppression, trapping her, where the fly is "between the light-and me-". Perhaps, she is suggesting her feelings as being trapped in life, not being able to escape; there is a real sense of gravity shown by "the weight" and the "cathedral tune" which is often dragged out and tiresome.

  • We can see it from the first stanza where Dickinson seems to suggest that the light is oppressing her; "winter afternoon" depicts a picture where nothing is alive and nothing is new, as leafs fall and flowers wilt;
  • Dickinson also uses a variety of linguistic techniques to strengthen her feelings.

The overall message seems to be Dickinson's resentment of hope and joy, suggested by the connotation of Christianity from the "cathedral tune", where in God there is hope, and hope is the very thing that is dragging her down. It is possible that Dickinson felt as if the future holds to much burden, she is growing heavy just waiting to die; yet, "pain" and "despair" are the only things that are lifting her up, suggested by "'Tis the seal, despair, An imperial affliction Sent us of the air".

As mentioned earlier, this poem is very closely linked to Christianity, and pain is said to bring us closer to God, which could be Dickinson's way of saying: Similarly in "Because I could not stop for death", death is portrait as a gentleman caller who brings her away from her mundane life, in which dying is positive, even romantic.

Dickinson has a similar structure for most of her poems; almost all share the same rhythm- Iambic tetrameter,trimeter. However, there is an irregular rhythm on the first stanza, where "trochee" is used to depict her fear, which is often seen as she panics.

This could be interpreted as an attempt to escape oppression, as she tries to break away from the regular structure.

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The broken structure can also be seen in "A bird came down the walk" as she is frightened by the barbaric bird and tries to hide away. Hyphen is also a familiar feature in Dickinson's poem, in "There's a certain slant of light", the hyphen is put behind "'Tis the seal, despair" which ultimately acts as the "seal" in a physical form; very cleverly, Dickinson presents to us the ultimate oppression, so huge that even word can't describe, it has to appear in a solid form.

In contrary, Hyphens seems to be used as bullets in "My life had stood-a loaded gun" where shooting a bullet correlates with the sense of release and freedom.

  • We can see it from the first stanza where Dickinson seems to suggest that the light is oppressing her; "winter afternoon" depicts a picture where nothing is alive and nothing is new, as leafs fall and flowers wilt;
  • Similarly in "I heard a fly buzz", Dickinson also uses something, "a fly", as a symbol of oppression, trapping her, where the fly is "between the light-and me-";
  • The overall message seems to be Dickinson's resentment of hope and joy, suggested by the connotation of Christianity from the "cathedral tune", where in God there is hope, and hope is the very thing that is dragging her down;
  • Dickinson has a similar structure for most of her poems; almost all share the same rhythm- Iambic tetrameter,trimeter;
  • Pathetic fallacy is used in "on winter afternoon", to depict a scene where a day is closing to an end and the observer going much closer to death; which reminds us of her feelings of entrapment in life, just waiting to die;
  • Dickinson has a similar structure for most of her poems; almost all share the same rhythm- Iambic tetrameter,trimeter.

Dickinson quite often uses linguistic devises to express her inner emotion. As mentioned, there is a sense of a downward force in this poem which is in someway contributed by the use of sibilance on the first line: Sibilance is also used in "I felt a funeral in my brain", where the line "silence some strange race" creates a kind of sinister sentiment.

Pathetic fallacy is used in "on winter afternoon", to depict a scene where a day is closing to an end and the observer going much closer to death; which reminds us of her feelings of entrapment in life, just waiting to die.

The sense of fear is not only shown through the broken structure on the first stanza, it is also conveyed by Dickinson's use of '"synesthesia", with the combination of "weight" and "tune"; the way she mixes up different senses shows her anxiety and again emphasises the heaviness of life. Dickinson also uses oxymoron quite frequently, this technique can be seen in "After great pain a formal feeling come" and "The last night that she lived"; yet, the phrase " heavenly hurt" from "There's a certain slant of light" is, arguably, used in the most powerful way.

We can almost relate to Dickinson's view, where "affliction" is "imperial"; to her, "hurt" is pleasurable, almost reassuring, because it is her only way to escape oppression, the only thing that"sent us of the air", and all good things are from God, all good things are "heavenly".

  • Dickinson quite often uses linguistic devises to express her inner emotion;
  • She uses unusual poetic structure to express fear and discontentment, her desperation to break free from life, hence breaking the rigid structure.

Oppression is a very general term where it can be interpreted in many different ways; In "There's a certain slant of light", Dickinson mainly focuses on entrapment, in which she expresses her impatient with the end of life. She uses unusual poetic structure to express fear and discontentment, her desperation to break free from life, hence breaking the rigid structure. Dickinson also uses a variety of linguistic techniques to strengthen her feelings. Oppression, without a question, is the key theme to the poem, "There is a certain slant of light.