Emily Dickinson “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers” Explanation

9 September 2016

Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the Thing With Feathers,” is the 6th part of a much larger poem called “Life. ” The poem examines the abstract idea of hope in the free spirit of a bird. She uses her poem, to show that hope is contained in the soul of everyone and can triumph over all. She uses imagery, metaphors, alliteration and personification to help describe why “Hope is the Thing With Feathers. ” This then shows her message about hope. She begins with those terms in the first line, “Hope is the thing with feathers.

” In this image, you can see hope is a bird. Hope is not a living thing, but by giving hope feathers, she begins to create an image of hope in our minds. Feathers represent hope because feathers enable you to fly and offer the image of flying away to a new hope, a new beginning. “That perches in the soul,” Dickinson continues to use the imagery of a bird to describe hope. The soul is the home for hope. This can be a metaphor. Hope rests in our soul the way a bird rests on its perch.

Emily Dickinson “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers” Explanation Essay Example

She uses the imagery of a bird’s continuous song to represent eternal hope. Birds never stop singing their song of hope. In the nest stanza she uses “And sweetest in the gale is heard” to describe the bird’s song of hope. You think of an image of a bird’s song of hope whistling above the hard winds and offering the promise that soon the storm will end. Then she uses the next line to metaphorically describe what a person who destroys hope feels like.

And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. She uses a powerful image of a person abashing the bird of hope that gives comfort and warmth for so many. The destroyer of hope causes pain and soreness that hurts them the most In the first line of the last stanza “I’ve heard it in the chilliest lands,” Dickinson offers the reader another reason to have hope. It is heard even in the coldest, saddest lands. Hope is eternal and everywhere.

The birds song of hope is even heard “And on the strangest sea. ” Hope exists for everyone. In the last two lines, she informs us that the bird of hope asks for no favor or price in return for its sweet song. It asked a crumb of me. Hope is a free gift. All we must do is not clip the wings of hope and let it fly and sing freely. Its song can be heard over the strangest seas, coldest lands, and in the worst storms. It is a song that never ends as long as we do not let it.

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