Hope Is The Thing With Feathers By Emily Dickinson

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When going through a period of tough times, people often dream of better days. This longing is what we call hope, an optimistic attitude concerning the future. In the mid-19th century, Emily Dickinson, a very reclusive person, wrote a poem describing the emotion of hope and her personal interactions with it. “’Hope’ is the thing with feathers” is an inspiring work of art detailing the overcoming of obstacles and the emotion’s presence in every individual. Hope is the thing everybody has access to and that reassures them in times of need.

Throughout the poem, the author makes allusions to overcoming great odds. Whether it be surviving or achieving a personal goal, the path to reaching the end is rarely an easy one. And often we give it all …show more content…

Those who lived centuries before us and those who are on the other side of the planet have all experienced hope at one time or another. It transcends time and space. This is what the author attempts to get across with the two verses: "I’ve heard it in the chillest land - / And on the strangest Sea -". Once again Dickinson uses two words that oppose each other, land and sea, to demonstrate just how universal hope is. This second opposition involving two different settings give the readers an understanding on where they can find hope. If they can find hope in the chillest lands and in the strangest seas then they must be able to find hope in themselves. But to fully understand the meaning of these two verses, readers must know time period’s historical context. Back in the mid-18th century life wasn’t as easy as it is today. Winters were unforgiving and every house wasn’t outfitted with electrical heaters, which is why the author mentions the hope’s warmth is an earlier verse. On the other hand, the sea wasn’t any better. Going out to sea was risky business, and their boats are blown out of the water compared to today’s ships. With the possibility of perishing out at sea, it is understandable that sailors had hope of returning home safe and sound. In such a harsh world, it’s no doubt that the people of the time dreamed for, hoped for something better. And even today, there are some …show more content…

Often used in writing, symbols enable the author to create parallels and comparisons that would otherwise make no sense. By choosing an object to represent something immaterial, certain analogs can be referenced. And interpretation by reading between the lines is what every author wants us to do. The title of the poem, which is also the first verse, "’Hope’ is the thing with feathers" hints at the personification of hope. The following verse, "That perches in the soul -", confirms the former theory. Feathers are the most apparent part of a bird’s plumage and perching is an action mostly done by birds, making it easy to confirm the personification of hope. Emily Dickinson chose the bird to represent hope for a number of reasons. Almost all birds are known for their ability to fly, making them the ideal choice to depict long distances or traveling. As it was mentioned above, hope can be found just about anywhere, thus creating a similar aspect between the bird and hope. In addition to that, migratory birds can travel immense distances due to their endurance. Once again, this relates to the fact that hope continues to live on, and with no intention of disappearing. On the contrary, birds can be quit fragile and a broken wing is nothing unheard of. The fragility of the bird is brought up in the verse where a storm threatens to abash the little bird. Yet it keeps on singing, proof that it

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