The Nature Of Death In Emily Dickinson — страница 2

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the remaining elements of human experience, as it is in “I’ve Seen A Dying Eye”. Although it is not a life-long journey, as it was in “Because I Could Not Stop For Death,” the dying person does travel through the obscurity of the clouds searching for something. The eye’s journey through the clouds and the expanding obscurity represents the search for an existence after death. As the eye ran around the room the observer sees the eye’s journey, “Then Cloudier become–/And then–obscure with Fog–” (ll. 4-5). The observer, through his or her’s hesitant speech, has already proved that there is an uncertainty or wariness about what he or she is observing. Once again, because the observer has the central point of view, it is important that we realize it is his or

her doubt and assumptions we are considering. As the clouds close in around the dying person’s eyes, the observer sees that the dying person has no control over them. It is as if the eye is still searching, while the clouds, representing death, close in around them. The eye is not only looking, but it seems to be frantically looking around for something beyond death. With words like “run” used, a sense of urgency is added, and there seems to be a sense of panic in the dying person, which would indicate him or her having no control over the circumstances associated with death. If the clouds are to represent death, then the dying person having no control over the clouds, would, therefore, have no control over death. The impression that maybe the dying person in this poem is

not ready to give herself to death comes through in the lines “Run round and round a Room–/In search of Something–as it seemed” (ll. 2-3). The eye’s “running” seems to denote some hurriedness, as if he or she is not prepared to die. This uncontrollability, or panic, that the observer sees the dying person struggling with is disturbing. Even more important for the observer is the question of whether the eye saw something before death closed in around it. The most important part of the poem comes toward the end when the eye closes and ceases to search the room. “And then–[the eye] be soldered down/Without disclosing what it be/’Twere blessed to have seen–” (ll. 6-8). The eye, as discussed earlier, seems to be agitated and searching desperately for an

afterlife existence. The dying person’s eye is then “soldered down” and fails to let the observer know what it saw, or if it saw anything. The use of the word “solder” implies to the reader that whatever answer the eye found beyond the clouds is now permanently sealed away from the living world. Obviously, the most important question in the observer’s mind, is what the dying person saw or was “blessed to have seen.” As the dying person passes from the realm of the living, he or she carries the answer to the question asked by everyone left behind-what lies ahead after death? The primary question that the poem is posing for us concerns the doubts and questions that the observer is left to consider after he or she witnesses the death. In this poem, it seems that

Dickinson is more interested in how the observer, whether in her poem or in real life, deals with the fact that what waits for us after death will always be unknown right until the final moment when Death’s clouds envelope us or its carriage comes to take us to another realm of existence. The observer seems envious of the corpse, as implied in the lines, “And then–be soldered down/Without disclosing what it be/’Twere blessed to have seen” (ll. 6-8). The observer watched the dying person progress through the dark clouds looking for something or some meaning, and a familiar interest was sparked. The observer wants to know the answer and feels cheated when the eyes “solder down,” implying that the answer is lost forever, or until the speaker dies. It seems that we

sometimes, as in the case of this particular observer, envy a dead person because they have discovered the answer to a haunting question-what lies ahead after death? The reality of the situation is that because we-the observer, Dickinson, and the reader(s)-choose to ponder that question, we give death a certain power over our lives. In other words, by spending our whole life in uncertainty about death we constitute a kind of “journey” towards death without having to experience any of the physical pain. The realizations and guesses that we make pertaining to death make up the various stops along the way with the destination being that moment when the truth is revealed. The uncertainty about death and what remains after controls those who are still traveling in their journey,