Thursday, 26 May 2016

Emily Dickinson’s Treatment of the Theme of Immortality

Dickinson was preoccupied with the questions of death and immortality. She was inquisitive about any mystery and her perplexity about it caused her poetic tension. The questions of belief and doubt centering round immortality wished that the soul never changed yet she denied the orthodox vision of paradise. However her confidence that love was an enduring entity supported her hope of immortality. She might have been in doubt sometimes that death was the gateway to immortality but she firmly believed that the soul’s identity could never be lost. She seems to have surveyed every domain of immortality and examined its relationship with death and life.

Emily Dickinson’s Treatment of the Theme of Immortality

Dickinson’s early poems depict the progress of her belief from life to death. In some of her poems Dickinson asserts her firm faith in the immortality of soul. ‘Two lengths has Everyday’ logically argues that the identity of soul cannot be lost because it is immortal. The soul not only perceives an object realistically but creates imaginatively its full image.

The final stanza of the poem asserts that death will not be able to destroy the soul. It will not even change its identity because man’s individual consciousness will guided his journey to immortality.

Emily Dickinson’s Treatment of the Theme of Immortality

The vision of immortality is best upheld in the poem ‘Behind me Dips Eternity’. Here she gives a graphic description of her existence between death and immortality. Eternity dips behind her and immortality extends before her. She is in between and death appears as a drift in the grey eastern horizon and dissolves into dawn far away before the beginning of the west.
The earthly vision of immortality’s haunting reality is described in ‘I taste a liquor never brewed’. It expresses through a drinking metaphor the ecstasy that accompanies a revelation. The poet is intoxicated with the air and is a debauchee of dew. Angels and saints go to the windows to see her leaning against the sun her lamppost.

Dickinson has examined the question of immortality from different points of view. Her keen interest and sincerity are evident in the intensity of her expressions.

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