"The Last Night That She Lived" by Emily Dickinson

Essay by sweetindiangirl7High School, 11th grade October 2006

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Almost every poem has an attitude that explains us the poem to give us a better understanding. The use of language and the style of the poem also lead us to being comfortable with the text. In this poem, the title "The Last Night that She Lived" already hints us about the somber attitude ahead.

As we start off with the poem, the first stanza gives it to us, that a death has occurred in a normally Common Night. The meaning of the two capitalized letters C in common and N in night tells us that a night which is usually common, something different has occurred. The C and the N gives emphasis to both words to make us notice the difference as it comes ahead.

In the next paragraph, there is a slight change of tone where the viewers of this scene are looking at the lady and remembering the littlest things that didn't mean much before.

The work "Italicized" is used to emphasize that the smallest things that had happened before are finally being notices as something important.

The fifth paragraph becomes restless. Everyone knows that she can pass any time. "Too jostled were Our Souls to Speak." In this sentence, jostled is used to explain how shaken up everyone is that they can't even say anything to the dying woman.

A simile is shown in the second to the last stanza. "Then lightly as a Reed Bent to the Water..." Here she's being compared to a Reed in a graceful manner. Without struggling much, accepting her fate, calmly, she'd dead.

The last paragraph gives us an oxymoron, "And then an awful leisure was belief to regulate." Leisure is usually a term used for something done in free time, something for fun, but in this poem it's given as an awful leisure. In this case, it seems as if this is a gathering of people, but not for fun, more like for mourning over the dead. The awful leisure can also mean as a gathering to accept or try to believe that the woman has really gone from these people's lives. The attitude of this oxymoron is more like awkwardly disoriented.

In conclusion, the diction or the word of choice is well suited. The poem can be looked as a story an onlooker is telling who was present at this dreadful event. Overall, the story is put together in a gloomy manner to give more of an effect to the poem and the diction used.