Emily Dickinson 284 Analysis

Words: 666
Pages: 3

Emily Dickinson’s “284” can be interpreted multiple ways, one being the literal sense and the other being a metaphorical sense. Word for word, the poem illustrates a droplet of water getting lost in massive waves of the sea. However, the subtext of the poem pertains to the major theme of self and the global society. “284” cannot be viewed one-sidedly, but rather from all possible aspects; we must discover the deeper meaning or the author’s intended purpose of the poem. Through the use of personification, metaphorical representation, and polyvalence, “284” conveys a paradoxical relationship between an individual and its surrounding society, ultimately suggesting that flawed humans impulsively crave for superiority.
Emily Dickinson personifies the drop in order to convey the idea that the drop is representative of an individual, while the ocean is representative of the community. Rather than regarding the drop as an “it,” Dickinson uses pronouns such as “she” and “her” throughout the poem. In addition, the drop and sea undergo human-like actions which include wrestling, sighing, smiling, and a form of dialogue when the drop “pleads -- ‘Me?’”
…show more content…
Stanza one in particular, “The Drop that wrestles in the Sea - Forgets her own locality - As I - toward Thee,” exhibits metaphorical representation through the purposely capitalized words of “Drop,” “Sea,” “I,” and “Thee” and a simile. The relationship between the drop in the ocean and an individual in society is tied together with the word “as,” implying that “I” is the human equivalent of “Drop,” and “Thee” is proportionate to “Sea.” Stanza one mirrors the reality that humans often go out of their way to be praised or idolized, whether for having special talents or for being