Muriel Rukeyser's"Looking at Each Other" and Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop For Death"

Essay by hullahoopCollege, UndergraduateA, February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

PaulineThe world is becoming more specific; therefore, the writing techniques are becoming more specific. Writers have a wide variety of literary tools such as allusion, metaphor, symbolism, and irony. Irony is the most common and efficient technique of the satirist. Since this technique is so popular and is being used in many different ways, people do not really understand the true meaning of the word. A clear understanding of the word irony, as it applies to literature, can be attained by an analysis of its formal, historical, and informal definitions.

Muriel Rukeyser is an American author and political activist most recognized for her portrayals of feminism, social justice and equality. In her poem, “Looking at Each Other”, she has envisioned a scenario of absolute unification amidst two lovers. Rukeyser lists various motions and emotions that are being reciprocated between both people with each and every line beginning with the word “yes”.

The author’s choice in using this word is of no coincidence for it is a word universally recognized to represent validation. She wants the world to know that both entities are fully aware of what is going on around them regardless of how the world perceives their relationship. “We fought violence and knew violence, We hated the inner and outer oppression”. These lines are mentioned in lines 8 and 9 in order to illustrate the fact that society reprimands their affiliation. However, simultaneously, she illuminates the compatibility that exists between both individuals with lines such as, “We knew each other very well” and “We had heard music together”. They key element that Rukeyser uses to epitomize the unconditional love that is being endured by both individuals is the element of Irony. The first half of the poem indicates that the two have endured many feelings together over a period...