Emily Dickinson Conformity

Words: 474
Pages: 2

Society idealizes the act of finding one’s place and becoming “somebody.” However, Emily Dickinson challenges conformity in her poem, “I’m nobody! Who are you?” The poet, instead, mocks the uninspiring truth of society and being “somebody.” Dickinson conveys her argument against a bland life within society through her childish tone and unconventional choice of simile. Contrasting the somber topic matter, the speaker speaks in a rather childish way. In the first stanza, the speaker inquires, “Are you a nobody, too?,” to then assume an affirmative response and exclaim, “Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!” The simple sentences in the second and third lines mimic those of a curious, playful child that is happy to have found a secret ally. Additionally, the speaker presents the idea of “nobody” as a silly and innocent title, much like trivial common ground that kindergarteners …show more content…
In the second stanza, the speaker compares those who meet society’s expectations to bullfrogs. Though frogs may seem like an unconventional representation of a “somebody”, the speaker illustrates how frogs and conformists share similar lifestyles. The speaker describes how frogs constantly croak out: “To tell your name the livelong day.” Frogs’ incessant croaking represents how those who strive to find a place in society must constantly put their name out into the public. The croaking mimics the desperate attempts to get oneself out in the light of society, much like celebrities and their need to stay relevant by keeping their names in the tabloids. Adding the time frame of a “livelong day” also emphasizes the monotony of having to maintain one’s image. A “livelong day” implies an endless quality to the croaking, emphasizing just how dull the lifestyle is. Thus, Dickinson illustrates the life of a “somebody” as tedious and dull, contrary to the typically glamorous image of fitting