Essay On Emily Dickenson’s “374” And “A Day”: Analysis

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Literature, Poetry, World, Poem, Childhood, Life, Speaker, Emily Dickinson

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/14

Emily Dickinson wrote poems and stories about what she knew about and what engaged her interests. Because of her skills as a penetrating and keen observer, Dickinson looked at and explored images from religion, nature, law, love and immortality as well as with seasons of the year that evoked certain ideas about the human condition. She is also known for her mordacious yet very vivid observations on daily life and society, some of these went as far as saying that life was not as worthy as often depicted.
The diction, syntax, and poetic devices of “374” enhance what the speaker is saying about the highs and lows of life, and she conveys a pessimistic attitude accompanied by a sad tone, which allows us to develop a certain amount of sympathy towards the narrative voice presented throughout the poem. Emily Dickinson’s poem communicates that life is an inevitably vicious cycle that oscillates between the highs and the lows. The world is a sad place, but when summer arrives everything changes. This poem seemingly responds to a time when the speaker experienced the joys of summer, which the melancholic mood suggests. Some of this might even be interpreted as the melancholy of childhood portrayed as the summer described, the author explains that the summer is now gone and she does not seem to feel as happy or as excited with the world as she was back then. With particular diction and syntax, Dickinson effectively expresses this message. She uses the word “eventually,” which indicates that although summer is not foreseeable in the immediate future, it will return once again, which is enhanced by her use of dashes. Dickinson also chooses to use the word “tint” to describe the effect of summer on the world as a time when change takes place. As far as interpretation goes, we can say that the author might say that although her childhood is long since gone, there might still be a chance for her to be happy again. The word “pallid” describes the world, or landscape, which underscores her grim outlook of the world, or at least for the immediate future and reality she is surrounded with. She seemingly admires summer because summer possesses the ability to change such a sad world into a bright and colorful atmosphere. The theory of the lost childhood once again is able to resonate in this statement because it would mean that the eyes of a child are able to make the most for the world around them despite the world being cruel or cold, children are able to ignore that due to their innocence. Dickinson not only talks about the ability of summer, or childhood to transform the world, she also believes that summer can change human nature for the better as well. Innocence is often considered to turn the world for the better since then we are able to see the best there is in the world. Although the world is ugly, summer causes people in “Parian” to become bright. The word “Parian” reemphasizes underscores not only the cynical connotations of this poem but also reflects the sadness of the speaker who articulates pessimism over whether summer will come again. There is a certain amount of doubt in this poem, while the poem does show a certain amount of optimism there is doubt in the narrative voice as the poem goes on. Dickenson then describes summer as a miracle in order to further stress her reverence for it and her desire to sustain summer. Finally, she uses the word “sacrament” at the end of the poem as a comparison to summer and its miraculous effects. Sacraments are sacrosanct rituals, and Dickinson invokes religion and a godly connection because of the prominence of religion in Dickinson’s life. Dickinson ends the poem on a darker note as the speaker leaves the reader with the idea of summer on their minds.
In the same way in the poem “A Day”, Emily Dickinson describes the joy of summer again. The narrative voice seems to rejoice in the beauty of summer and yet she still finds a certain agony in the fact that it is coming to an end “But how he set, I know not./[] A dominie in gray/Put gently up the evening bars,/And led the flock away.” Throughout this poem she explicitly makes a link between summer and childhood. She even comes to the point where she questions herself about at what moment did she lost her childhood. The sun is often depicted to show how the writer felt about summer, about the freedom that came with childhood. It allows us to make a certain connection towards the warmth and a feeling of well-being. The imagery used in this poem goes from positive to somber. It starts with a colorful and vivid scenery and it slowly transforms into doubt, a tragic and dark time. The use of the words “led the flock away” even depicts a sense of loss in the poem.
Emily Dickinson was recognized more for her comments on society and religion. However throughout the poems analyzed previously, we are able to see a different façade of hers in which she opens as a poet and she lets herself grieve over the loss of her own innocence due to her turning into an adult and having to belong to the world she would often criticize. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, but this two works focus mainly on the pain that comes with mortality and being human, the sadness it implies. The author is in deep mourning.

Works Cited

Todd, M. & Higginson, T. Dickinson, E. A Day. Nature. About Dot Com. Web. 15 February, 2015. Retrieved from:
Dickinson, E. 374. Everyman’s Poetry. Helen McNeil. Web. 15 February, 2015. Retrieved from:

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"Essay On Emily Dickenson’s “374” And “A Day”: Analysis," Free Essay Examples -, 14-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-May-2024].
Essay On Emily Dickenson’s “374” And “A Day”: Analysis. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 14, 2020. Accessed May 27, 2024.

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