Emily Dickinson Acquainted With The Night Analysis

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Both poems 419 by Emily Dickinson and Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost use imagery of darkness and night to create a sense of the narrator being alone, to comment on the uncertainty of life, but they differ in that Dickinson’s poem sees darkness as an inevitable condition of life, while Frost reflects more human emotional distress. Both poems use darkness imagery of character being alone in the world. In Dickinson’s poem that darkness comes when “the neighborhood holds the lamp to witness her goodbye” this symbolically shows that darkness is a goodbye to the light and to the human company putting the speaker of the poem all alone in the world around them. In Frost’s poem, the speaker says they “dropped my eyes” when seeing watchmen. …show more content…
In Dickinson’s poem, the speaker sees “The Bravest grope a little and sometimes hit a tree.” This means that in the darkness one cannot see where they are going and can run into trouble. The poem by Robert Frost also uses the night to show uncertainty when it says that night “proclaimed the time was wrong nor right”. In the darkness, both poems show it is impossible to know and understand to comprehend the surroundings. However, both poems say that over time we grow accustomed to this darkness. The body and people adjust over time to this new environment, however, they differ on whether or not this is positive. The tone of Dickinson’s poem becomes much more positive towards the end saying that “Life steps almost straight”. This symbolizes that this is the natural order of life and that uncertainty in life is inevitable, but these darknesses can be adjusted to in life. The Frost poem has a much darker message and tone. It views darkness and distress as a soul-crushing experience, as it describes “the saddest city lane” and “an interrupted cry”. These experiences create a foreboding and ominous tone that is very much the opposite of Dickinson’s outlook. It thus has the opposite message to Dickinson’s, rather then Darkness being something we can overcome, our adjustment to it involves a descent into madness and despair. Whenever a person falls into depression, they will likely be forced to stay in a state of uncertainty and darkness and symbolizes some of the worst human conditions of emotional