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A complete analysis of Emily Dickinson’s poem “The soul selects her own Society”

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“The Soul selects her own Society” is one of the greatest poems written by Emily Dickinson. It personifies her literary career to the “t” with the upmost descriptiveness. This poem describes a difficult selection of the soul between two societies; popular majority and self majority. It displays a light sense of imagery with a dark sense of thought. However, Dickinson’s diction, imagery, symbols, and rhyme are impeccable and root deeply from her sense of description.

The diction inside of Dickinson’s poem is very direct and straight to the point, with little wandering, even for the use of imagery. Even though some statements, such as “…an Emperor be kneeling…”, make it hard for the reader to follow the poem, it allows the reader to expound more on the poem and in doing so become more able to understand the poem and relate it to self. The diction used affects the poem great as well as the way it is interpreted. The opening line, “The Soul selects her own Society-…”, gives you the thought that Dickinson may be talking about herself in the poem then statements like, “I’ve known her-…”, make think that she is talking about someone else like a close friend or relative that has went through this present situation. But even in doing so, she allows you to somehow relate to the poem by opening up to not only self but also to friends, family members, and associates you might can relate it to.

Another way diction dynamically affects the poem is within its combination with imagery. The diction and imagery within the poem gives you not only a verbal sense of the poem, but a visual sense as well. With statements like, “…shuts the Door-…”, “…Present no more-…”, “…she notes the Chariots-…”, and “…an Emperor be kneeling-…” make the reader feel as if they were right there in the mist of the action. The imagery also gives the reader much insight to the reader about the person’s thoughts within the poems wall’s. It links the reader in a deep bond with the person of the poem, and allows the reader to be more in tune with the poem and the events within it.

The imagery within the story helps the reader to see better the factors that play into the selection of the soul within the poem and shows the process in which that selection was made and the causes there after. The use of imagery gives the poem a feeling of presence to the reader and the ability to look at the selection and its out come in more than just a single view.

One thing that helps the imagery within the poem is its use of different symbols to enhance it. There are a countless number of symbols used throughout Dickinson’s work. But within this poem the symbols stand more for individual thoughts than actual people or things themselves. For example, the poem uses the symbol of the majority not to define a particular large amount of people but a thought that is held by a particularly large amount of people and that of her own. These two majorities are the ones that the soul within the poem must choose from; which she ultimately chooses her own majority (“The Soul selects her own Society-Then-shuts the Door-To her divine Majority-…”) This symbol shows the reader the soul’s two options, the one that it eventually picks, and the circumstances that follow after the selection is made. This symbol gives the reader yet another chance to relate with the soul within the poem by appealing to the reader’s thoughts on the thoughts of the social or grouped majority and self or moral majority within the poem, and yet still the symbolism affects the poem greatly by allowing it to be even farther expounded on by the reader’s thoughts.

Also another component that helps the poem out a lot is the great use of the rhyme scheme within. In the poem the rhyme scheme is not organized in any particular fashion which gives the reader a restriction less feeling while reading the poem. Within the poem the rhyme schemes are broken up by hyphens to exemplify the true feeling at that particular time in the poem. The hyphens in the poem allow the reader to slowly and comprehensively read the poem and makes sure that the reader does not read to fast and just breeze over the most important parts of the poem.

The Emily Dickinson poem, “The Soul selects her own Society”, is a great example of literary art and beautiful descriptiveness. It allows the reader numerous opportunities to relate to and expound on the thoughts of the poem. The poems use of diction, imagery, symbols, and rhyme are greatly used to draw the reader closer in and captivate their current thoughts.

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