NOTE: Free essay sample provided on this page should be used for references or sample purposes only. The sample essay is available to anyone, so any direct quoting without mentioning the source will be considered plagiarism by schools, colleges and universities that use plagiarism detection software. To get a completely brand-new, plagiarism-free essay, please use our essay writing service.
One click instant price quote
Life, death, and reincarnation are portrayed in Emily Dickinson's poem "I Felt A Funeral In My Brain. " The use of words associated with death gives the poem an ominous and dark karma. To add to this karma, important words that are strong in meaning are capitalized. At the beginning of this poem the feelings of grief and pain are evident. Throughout the rest of the poem, there is a strong sense that the speaker needs to make a choice between a world full of trouble and pain or a heaven that brings solitude and peace. This is all part of a vicious cycle. Sometimes when life doesn't turn out for the best, you need to wait until your cycle is up.
This is reflected clearly at the end of the poem. The speaker lives life, passes away, and is reborn again into this world all throughout this poem's entirety. The first two words of this poem reveal strong feelings. The words "I felt" show that the speaker is talking about themselves.
In line 1, the words "I felt a funeral in my brain, " brings to mind death. The word "funeral" combined with the word "brain" can be simplified into the fact that death is inside the speaker. "and mourners to and fro / kept treading-treading-till it seemed / that sense was breaking through-" (2, 3, 4). Here the speaker is bothered by their inner death that keeps mourning ober and ober throughout their head. The dashes between "treading-treading-, " allow a pause between the two words, inducing a long, repetitive treading.
This repetition causes irritation. Finally, "sense was breaking through" (4). This simply means that the constant repetition is now starting to make sense. A feeling of relief has surfaced, but only for a short while. In the second state, as quickly as the boxes made sense to the speaker, the quicker they stopped. In line 5, " and when they all were seated" the relief stops, its being seated.
When relief is seated and not moving, all seems to stop. The speaker brings us the funeral by using the words "the service, " meaning the funeral service, like one that takes place at a funeral home. Unlike the last stanza, where it all started to make sense, this stanza gets confusing. Confusion is shown in lines 6, 7 and 8, "like a drum, /kept beating-beating-till I thought. my mind was going numb. " Besides showing confusion, this shows repetition between "breathing-beating" and "trading-treading-. " This time though, at the end of the stanza instead of making sense, the speakers' mind is going numb. The speakers' thought process is dead, they are not thinking anymore.
In the third stanza the voices start to take over by opening a box. Shown in lines 9 through 11, "and then I heard them lift a box / and creak across my soul / with those same boots of lead. " This box is opened and all the problems and troubles lingering inside are released upon the speaker like "boots of lead" within the speaker down. These problems build up and "the space began to toll. " Portraying suicidal thoughts, the speaker can't take anymore and it's all beginning "to toll, " meaning that it is coming close to the end. The upbringing of the soul in line 10 gives a sense of spirituality to the poem, the meaning of these words reflect the concepts of life and death. During the duration of the fourth stanza, the speaker now hears voices calling to him. This is where the switch from life to death occurs.
The line "as all the heavens were a bell" (13), is very interesting. What are most bell used for? A church bell rings during time change, a school bell rings when it's time to change class. The us of "bell" in this line is to show the exit from earth and the entrance into heaven. THe speaker hears these bells signifying change in the line "and I and silence, some strange race / wrecked , solitary here-." these lines tell us that the speaker finally relaxes. "and I and silence" reflects the relaxation and relief of the pressures and pain. The line "sme strange race, wrecked" describes the exiting of life into death, the has race is "wrecked. " Then all is peaceful, "solitary, here-", "here being heaven.
In the last stanza the solitude breaks, and all that was once good is dropping as if this was deck made of wood contains many planks, the if a "plank" was to break you would fall. This would reflect the next line "and I dropped down, and down-and hit a world. " Here is where the speaker falls through the deck or, "reason" occurs. THe speaker drops for heavens and continues dropping. The emphasis (repetition) on dropping down is the show how far heaven is away, and how far the speaker actually was before falling. This brings him back to reality, back to the world were life begins and ens. the words chosen for the line "at every plunge" show the repetition of falling, restarting hte circle of life.
The line "and finish knowing-the-" describes reincarnation. Once the speaker "lands" back on earth, the speaker starts a new life. The word "finished" is emphasized like other words throughout the poem, but the us of "finished" at the end of this poem fits accordingly. It also fits well at the end of this poem because not only is the poem over but it also signifies the end of life and the start of a new one.
The lines separating "then" at the very end make it seem as though the words are fading away as did the thoughts of the speaker from the past. The speaker made it through the cycle of life, living, dying and rebirth. Each stage was a hard endeavor, with some, followed a period of relief, and others followed with a sense of desperation, as if things will never get better. Heaven and Earth's descriptions contrast each other so much, but no matter how peaceful heaven seems, the gloomy karma still lurks throughout. The vicious cycle of life will always continue just as it is reflected in the poem.
Free research essays on topics related to: cycle of life, funeral in my brain, make sense, vicious cycle, felt a funeral
Research essay sample on I Felt A Funeral In My Brain