My Life Had Stood A Loaded Gun Essay

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“My Life had stood - a Loaded Gun” by Emily Dickinson is a short poem which uses an extended metaphor comparing the speaker’s life to a loaded gun. The author appears to be sharing her feelings regarding her own life and how she has not realized her full potential. She considers her life full of potential power . . . yet unused. This poem demonstrates that a person’s perspective is truly shaped by their life experiences - or lack of. In Emily Dickinson’s poem, "My Life had stood - a Loaded Gun," personification, metaphors, and symbolism reveal the author's perspective on the power of anger or violence in one’s life The first literary element that is used within Emily Dickinson’s poem to show her perspective is personification. Within…show more content…
Dickinson uses metaphors to convey to her readers how anger and violence can be difficult to handle in one’s life. The first example of a metaphor in the poem is also within the first line. In the poem, life is said to be an unused, loaded gun which means that it has potential or power that is ready and waiting to be used. “My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun –” (1). The gun is unused as if Dickinson is trying to hold in and handle her anger and frustration without confronting it. Another metaphor found within the poem is the line about the Vesuvian face. The author refers to her anger as a Vesuvian face which makes reference to a volcano in Italy. She is revealing that her anger is explosive when she say, “It is as a Vesuvian face” (11). Dickinson is trying to convey how hard it is to mask her anger to the world. The last example of a metaphor within the poem is regarding the doe. Dickinson indicates that she is going to hunt the doe. Hunting is a metaphor for killing a part of herself and dealing with her anger. “And now We hunt the Doe –” (6). The majority of Dickinson’s poem is portrayed by metaphors which are vital to her message that handling anger and violence can be difficult. “The most important poetic device in the poem is the metaphor”

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