The four poems by Emily Dickinson, and the short story by Ernest Hemingway, discuss the subject of death and the different views that one may have about death. In Earnest Hemingway’s short story, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” the death of Macomber illustrates the truth behind the relationship between him and the others around him. Each of Emily Dickinson’s poems, “Tell All the Truth but tell it slant-“, “Success is counted sweetest”, “I heard a fly buzz-when I died-“, and “Because I could not stop for Death-,” observe that death plays a notable part in each persons life. She depicts that death is a very vulnerable time, for both those dying as well as the family and friends whom are in mourning.
The short story was organized outside of chronological order to allow the reader to formulate his or her own opinions on each of the characters. Throughout the story, each of the characters took daring moves that hinted towards their personalities as well as their capabilities. For example, Francis’s wife, Margot, cheats on him with the guide while they are on a safari. Also, Francis takes a risk and goes out to kill the buffalo which ends up leading to his death.
In Emily Dickinson’s, “I heard a fly buzz-when I died,” is a poem that uses enjambment and techniques of rhyme to tell the story of a women dying. The first half of the poem is written in slant rhyme and the second in full rhyme. The poem is set up like this because the slant rhyme represents the painful and fragmented reality of a loved one in the process of dying. The full rhyme at the end represents the acceptance of mortality and closure. In Emily Dickinson’s, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant-,” the poem explains to the reader that it is important to tell the truth, but tell it in a way that will disguise the motive at hand. In the short story, Margot’s true motive was to shoot at her husband, but it was disguised by the action of shooting at the buffalo. In, “Because I could not stop death,” the subject of death is optimistic and welcoming. The poem follows each phase within a person’s life and ends with the “setting of the sun.” The speaker realizes that death is something we will eventually all face and is a part of life that everyone needs to accept. In the last of the four poems, “Success is counted sweetest,” Emily Dickinson depicts that success is the most rewarding when it has been accomplished for the first time. Also, in order to be successful, one must have confidence and motivation in themselves.
After reading each of the poems and the short story, I was able to clearly see a common theme of death. Each reading allowed me to see a different point of view concerning the subject. I know that I myself am absolutely terrified of death, and the thought of losing a loved one is a haunting thought. On the bachelor, one of the women was a part of a family that owned their own funeral business. Along with this business comes the job of dealing with the family, and embalming the dead body. It shocked me how comfortable she was talking about death and how she sees it as a celebration. Listening to her talk about it helped me see that death is reality, and when this time comes for someone that I love and care about, I should accept what has happened and celebrate the beautiful life they have lived.