Humanity In Emily Dickinson's The Conqueror Worm

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Emily Dickinson is able to poetically yet horrifically describe the danger of human thoughts in “69”. Dickinson believes it is much safer to meet a satanic demon in an ally way, rather meet a demon that haunts one’s mind, because internal demons are the real threat to humanity. Edgar Allen Poe agrees with Dickinson’s claim of haunting thoughts, and the roles humanity, death, and other supernatural beings play in “The Conqueror Worm” gives theatrics to these beliefs. “The Conqueror Worm” tells a story where humanity is at the mercy of its madness and sin, and death is portrayed as the hero, while angles sit helpless and horrified in the audience. Dickinson expresses her belief of the more threatening nature internal demons possess over the external demons society fears, while Poe goes on to theatrically portray the power of an internal demon. Poe’s description of humanity is very significant when trying to understanding the difference between effects internal and external conflicts. Humanity is played by mimes, or puppets, in the tragedy of “Man”. The puppets symbolize the lack…show more content…
They “shift the scenery to and fro”, leaving humanity’s journey at the whim of its inner demons (14). Madness and sin are described as being “vast” and “formless”, which shows that this huge yet intangible force is out of the reach of its host; Poe explains this point by saying, “With its Phantom chased for evermore/By a crowd that seize it not” (13, 19-20). Inner demons are said to be “the soul of the plot”; the importance madness and sin have in the play symbolizes the importance they have in humanity (24). The mimes eventually meet their demise by the conqueror worm; however, the conqueror worm emerges “amid the mimic rout” where the internal demons lead humanity (25-26). The protagonist in the story is not the mimes and certainly not madness or sin, but death is seen as the hero of
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