Monday, March 21, 2011

Blog #7

The readings for this Tuesday consisted of Emily Dickinson’s four poems and Ernest Hemingway’s short story. They all relate to life lessons and some suggestions on how to live life and prepare ultimately for death. Dickinson’s poems include some morals for life and her view about death. Ernest Hemingway’s short story discusses the meaning of fulfilling the potential each person has.

Some people live by the motto of “living life to the fullest”. I see this as meaning having a successful and happy life. Both Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Success is counted sweetest” and Ernest Hemingway’s story, “Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” display definitions of success in life. The main character in the short story is perceived to be a coward, but becomes increasingly more courageous. In his first encounter with the African wildlife, he takes flight instead of fighting. The next outing they hunt buffalo and Macomber is braver and does not run when the buffalo charges. Instead he does not run and shoots at it. Although he misses and his wife accidentally kills him, Macomber dies as a happy and courageous person. Emily Dickinson shows her opinion on success a little differently. She says that you must feel loses and overcome challenges before you are completely successful and satisfied.

“Tell all the Truth but tell it slant-” describes the speaker’s outlook on honesty and lies. They say the truth is sometimes too much to handle all at once and should be told in a way so the person can learn on their own. The line “As Lightning to the Children eased” (line 5), discusses that children would not understand the science behind lightening, but eventually in school they learn that it is an electronic discharge.

In “I heard a Fly buzz-when I died” and “Because I could not stop for Death-”, the speaker is either dying in bed or describes their journey with Death to their grave. In the first poem, the speaker is on their deathbed and it is a nice quiet scene until a fly buzzes in the room. This is the last thing the speaker hears before they die. Dickinson chooses a fly over any other animal because flies are associated with death and decomposition. The latter takes the reader on a journey with the speaker and Death. The speaker’s attire shows she is unprepared for Death and it took her by surprise, but she is still comfortable with dying when she refers to her grave as a house.

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