Poetry Analysis of “Death Is a Dialogue Between” by Emily Dickinson

Topics: Hell, God, Religion Pages: 2 (632 words) Published: June 1, 2010
Poetry Analysis of
“Death is a Dialogue between” by Emily Dickinson

Death is a Dialogue between
The Spirit and the Dust.
"Dissolve" says Death—The Spirit "Sir
I have another Trust"—

Death doubts it—Argues from the Ground—
The Spirit turns away
Just laying off for evidence
An Overcoat of Clay.

Emily Dickinson’s poem “Death is a Dialogue” depicts the conversation a person’s spirit has with death once the person’s body dies. In this poem death tells the person’s spirit that he is going to just dissolve or vanish, as if there is no pleasant afterlife. However, the spirit does not trust what death says, but instead trusts another higher being. Death then tries to make the spirit have dubiety against this higher being. However, the spirit is not affect by death and is able to escape the grasp of death and go to a better place.

In this poem the concepts of death and the spirit bring contradicting tones. This happens because the poem encompasses two opposite ideas: evil death and a serene spirit. Death coveys a fearful tone, as one does not know what will happen in the afterlife. However, the spirit adds peaceful optimism to the overall attitude of this poem. Even though death tries to corrupt the spirit, the spirit never falters and eventually leaves death for something better. Even though death has a fearful ambiance, the spirit brings calmness to the poem. Theses ideas of evil and pure are further enhanced by the use of allusions by Emily Dickinson. Since this poem deals with the afterlife, it can be inferred that the theme of the poem deals with religion. That is why death can be seen as The Devil since death lives in the ground, or in Hell. The Devil tries to corrupt the spirit by causing the spirit to deny God, who is the spirit’s trust. Death, or The Devil, wants the spirit to deny God, so death can capture the spirit and bring him to Hell. However, the spirit does not deny God and goes off to Heaven. He leaves Death only a corpse in an overcoat...
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