In depth with Dickinson

Instead of viewing delight through the eyes of one who is content, Dickinson takes a different perspective in her poem 539, viewing delight from one who is in pain. Dickinson figuratively mentions “Delight becomes pictorial” (1), “When viewed though pain” (2). Dickinson implies that the word pictorial is merely an image that sparks interest, yet this image is not reality to one who is experiencing pain. There is a shift in one’s feelings when pain occurs: “Delight becomes pictorial” (1) The word “becomes” marks the transition of one’s emotions from happiness to misery. “When viewed though pain” (2) “That any gain” (4), Dickinson uses rhyming words pain and gain to demonstrate their relation. One who is in pain, has not gained hope for improvement. Instead, the chances for improvement seem “…impossible” (3). In the second stanza, Dickinson incorporates nature. There is a shift from describing one’s feelings of hurt in the first stanza to illustrating scenes from nature. “The Mountain – at a given distance- (5) “…And that’s – the skies” (8). The distance between the Mountain and the skies changes Dickinson’s perception. She points out how far the two are from each other. The painful perspective Dickinson previously describes becomes worst during the second stanza, as she compares the hurting to the distance between the mountain and the skies. Perhaps now the person is dying. Hope is no longer attainable. The distance is too far, delight can not be experienced. Dickinson’s tone is unpromising, as she views delight from a standpoint of one who is not well. She uses words such as “becomes” to show the shift in emotion. “Impossible” to demonstrate that all hope is gone, and nothing else will improve. “Distance”, to depict how remote delight has become.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.