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Agony Explication

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Devin Walker
Professor Newberry
American Literature II
31 August 2016
“Look of Agony” Explication Essay Emily Dickinson is one of the greatest American poets to date. She was most well known for her odd punctuation and capitalization that she would use to emphasize certain things that were important to the poem. “I like a look of Agony” is a short poem that seems very dark until it is analyzed. It begins with Dickinson stating that she likes the look of agony because she knows that it is true.
“I like a look of Agony, / Because I know it's true— / Men do not sham Convulsion, /
Nor simulate, a Throe—”(1-4). This first stanza speaks volumes about the message that Emily Dickinson is trying to send to those who read the poem. When she states, “I like a look of Agony, / Because I know it’s true—”(1-2), she is saying that when she sees a person who looks like they are in pain or struggling, she knows that their emotion is true, because a person can not fake pain. She reiterates this point with the next two lines when she says, “Men do not sham Convulsion, / Nor simulate, a Throe—”(3-4). Those lines are saying that a person can not fake convulsions, or reactions to pain, and that they can not fake a throe, which is another type of reaction to pain. Throughout this stanza Dickinson chooses to capitalize
…show more content…
These lines continue with the theme of pain being a true emotion that can not be faked. Dickinson states that, “They eyes glaze once— / and that is Death / Impossible to feign”. Eyes glazing over is a common sign that a person has died, which Dickinson states, and she says that death is impossible to fake. This continues her theme of pain being the truest emotion and that nobody can fake it no matter what they try. Following that she states that homely anguish causes a person to start sweating, which is yet another sign of someone

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