I Like a Look of Agony In the poem "I like a look of Agony," by Emily Dickinson, one of the ways the poem's affects on the reader is improved is though the use of literary devices. People normally have trepidation of agony, but Dickinson uses literary devices such as imagery, personification, and connotation to reveal her contrasting enjoyment to the social norm. The opening line "I like a look of Agony," (line 1) could be interpreted as sadistic and cold. Completely reading the poem allows the reader to understand what the first line actually means. Dickinson does not like a look of agony because she enjoys watching others suffer; she is fascinated by the expression of agony. The second line of the poem "Because I know it's true-," (line 2) offers some insight into why she has this fascination.
Many human emotions can be falsely projected or controlled. People tend to feel comfortable when they are in control of their emotions. People who are in agony cannot only experience pain but can also be removed from their comfort zone. This potential for lose of control can therefore evoke fear in people. No one can fake the physical reactions accompanying agony. The line "impossible to feign," (line 6) is Dickinson's way of expressing the hopelessness in trying to disguise the reactions.
People are used to being in control and interacting with people who also have this control. It can be uncomfortable for people to watch others in agony because it reminds them of how, if they were in the same situation, it would be impossible to disguise the pain. This loose of control is the focus of her fascination, and her motivation for writing this poem. Dickinson uses imagery to describe the reactions from the pain.
Imagery of physical reactions to agony can convey feeling associated with it to the reader, but Dickinson contrasts this with her own views. The physical reactions of a convulsion, a throe, and eyes glazing over are effective as reminders because they all have a connotation of pain and death. Pain is something that tends to evoke an instinctual fear in people, so as Dickinson describes the painful reactions people have, the reader is reminded of this fear. Because it makes reference to death, the strongest of these descriptions is the one referring to the eyes.
"The Eyes glaze once- and that is Death-," (line 5) creates a vision of a slow process of death. Not only is pain associated with this but also the process will eventually leads to fatality. Death is also a metaphor, the death of the control. Once the eyes begin to glaze over, physical death could be pending and death of emotional control could also be setting in.
Dickinson is interested in this death of control, so the reader is reminded of Dickinson's contrasting views on agony. Dickinson enjoys the fact that people cannot fake the reactions to anguish; therefore their reaction must be true. Because of her isolated lifestyle and the wonderment she had for things both natural and spiritual, she appreciated something that was a known truth. It's intriguing to read such an unconventional view on watching others suffer. Another literary device utilized by Dickinson is personification.
In the last two lines, "The Beads upon the Forehead/ By homely Anguish strung." (line 7-8) anguish is personified as being able to string. When an author uses personification, human qualities are assigned to something non-human. Personification helps the readers understand anguish because they can easily visualize the act of stringing something. Dickinson utilizes this to create a vision that helps reinforce the fear that people tend to have toward pain and agony.
Once Dickinson can connect the reader through personification, the reader gains greater insight and therefore a better understand of Dickinson's fascination of the expression of agony. Both imagery and personification are made more effective as literary devices because of the connotation of the words Dickinson choose to use when employing them. The descriptions "Men do not shame Convulsion, / Nor simulate, a Throe-," (line 3-4) contain words that have a connotation of uncontrollable pain and anguish. The connotation of these words helps Dickinson remind the reader how distressing agony can be. What distress most people, however, fascinates Dickinson. She enjoyed the fact that the reactions could not be a sham or simulated, they were real.
In line eight, the word homely is used to personify agony. The connotation of this word is simple, plain, and unattractive. Homely and its synonyms also describe Dickinson's lifestyle. It adds a feeling of genuineness to the poem. Dickinson had an appreciation for simplicity. "Homely" connects Dickinson and her genuineness, and the connection is why she enjoys the look of agony and the reason she was compelled to write this poem.
People have a tendency to fear pain and agony. The use of literary devices adds to this poems meaning. Poets like Dickinson that demonstrate a mastery of literary devices can convey emotions and feelings much more effectively. Imagery helps remind reader of the trepidation of the physical pain. Personification allows readers to visualize and relate to agony's human characteristics. The connotation of the words chosen are pain and anguish, which both add to the overall emotion evoked from the poem.
Dickinson has an ironic contrasting view to the social norm. The irony intrigues readers and leave a lasting impression on them. The irony of the topic of this poem, coupled with Dickinson's kill at employing literary devices made this poem extremely intriguing to read. Agony, in the poem, is described as homely and has the ability to string. meaning of first line-my interpretation-second line of the poem-human emotions-loose of mental control-use of imagery-specific words-death as a metaphor-personification-description of personification-word "homely"-genuine feeling-relate to genuineness interpretation of poem: The opening line "I like a look of Agony," could be interpreted as sadistic and cold. Completely reading the poem allows the reader to understand what the first line actually means.
Dickinson does not enjoy watching others suffer; she is fascinated by the expression of agony. The second line of the poem "Because I know it's true-," offers some insight into why she has this fascination. Many human emotions can be falsely projected or controlled. People who are in agony seem to loose this control. The line "impossible to feign," is Dickinson's support of this. Mental control is something that people live with their entire lives.
This loose of control is the focus of her fascination. There is a struggle between physical and mental control. The physical pain can be so great that people often loose their mental control. Dickinson uses the imagery to describe the reactions from the pain to help the reader understand what she sees. Descriptions like convulsion, throe, and eyes glazing over are effective because they have they have a connotation of pain and death. The strongest of these descriptions is the eyes.
"The Eyes glaze once and that is Death-," creates a vision of a slow process of death for the reader. Death could also be a metaphor, the death of the control. Once the eyes begin to glaze over, physical death could be pending and death of emotional control could also be setting in. Another literary device utilized by Dickinson is personification. In the last two lines anguish is personified by stringing "The Beads upon the Forehead." Personification helps the readers understand anguish because they can easily visualize the act of stringing something. Anguish is also described as "homely." The word homely has a simple and plain connotation.
Simple and plain could also describe Dickinsons's lifestyle. Dickinson could have had a better appreciation for this simplicity. It has a genuine feeling. "Homely" connects Dickinson and her genuineness. Dickinson's experiences with observing anguish probably came from watching her parents or sister. The genuineness of their emotions at that time could have helped her to relate to them.
It is natural for people to have trepidation of agony, but because of the plain and simple lifestyle Emily Dickinson lead, she felt a connection with the simplicity that an emotion like agony can establish. thesis work: Natural for people to look away from agony, but ironic that Dickinson enjoys it. Dickinson uses irony to grab attention of reader because she likes it Use of literary devices Dickinson uses literary devices to get readers attention to agony. People have trepidation of agony to add deeper meaning to poem Dickinson reveals to her reader her perception of agony as a sincere and genuine emotion by using literary devices to Her perception of agony is as a sincere and genuine emotion Dickinson uses literary devices to reveal to her reader her p reception of agony and a sincere and genuine emotion. enjoys watching uses literary devices to create a ironic look at agony Dickinson uses literary devices to creates a paradoxical look at agony and grab readers attention It is natural for people to have trepidation of agony, people are uncomfortable watching others who they are accustomed to seeing in control, overcome with physical pain and anguish.
but because of the plain and simple lifestyle Emily Dickinson lead; she felt a connection with the simplicity that an emotion like agony was described as possessing. Dickinsons use of literary devices creates deeper meanings for her ironic look at agony Dickinson uses irony, personification, and metaphor es / connotation , to reveal her perception of agony in contrast to the normal human reaction. People normally have trepidation of agony, but Dickinson uses literary devices such as irony, personification, and metaphor es / connotation /imagery to reveal her contrasting enjoyment to the norm.