We Grow Accustomed to the Dark Analysis
The author of the poem goes by the name Emily Dickinson, whose writing shows the readers that throughout life everyone gets used to the dark. In the poem, there is the use of metaphors and strong imagery in the description of the loss of a loved one. Emily explains the loss in detail using a metaphor of light and darkness. The poem has been written in the first person with the utilization of the word “We” in the title and the first line to show that the poem is meant to be interpreted by anyone who has lost an important thing in life before and not only by her.
There is a repeated use of dashes in the poem, in some cases, it has even been used more than once on each line. Their presence in the poem is meant to represent pauses and an increase of difficulties in her life. In other words, dashes have been used to force the reader to pause for each bit and absorb or reflect on whatever has happened so far. The pieces deliberately and efficiently make the reader think about the darkness.
The poem occupies five distinct stanzas, with each comprising of four lines. Nothing unique, special or fancy about the organization of the poem on the page. This has been done to act as a symbol of the very regularity of the fact that nothing exists forever, and that the things or people you love are at some point lost. The world should and does not stop and organize your life for you, with the loss of someone or something important. The world continues in the same unerringly normal way, just that it will lack the same light it once had.
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To paint an Image of darkness encompassing her life, Dickinson uses strong imagery. The two lines “To witness her Goodbye-“, and “As when the Neighbor hold the lamp” in the first stanza uses many strong images of the silhouette of a person, which is lit by a fading light at their back. The person in the picture represents the light and is seen to be leaving. The lamp in the picture illuminates the departure, and as the lady disappears, so does the light.
The second stanza has a line, “And meet the Road-erect-“, that creates an image of a stout but the stalwart victim, operating alone at the end of a perilous road that is long and dark. The use of this imagery is successful in showing a picture of the author or the reader as they are trying to live their new lives in the darkness, with an absolute absence of light.
Dickinson writes about “The Bravest” in the third stanza. She addresses how the brave attempt to cope with the loss of light and the new picture of darkness that has come into their lives. She brutally but honestly shows how the brave people are stopped right in their tracks by a meager tree as they strive to grope towards a better life. The word “grope” which bears a slightly negative connotation, to describes the actions taken by the bravest in their new world of darkness. The use of the word grope which sounds similar and is also structured in a way close to “grotesque,” paints a negative mood to the victims of the loss of light and relates them to shady people.
Emily concludes her poem by referring the darkness to someone’s perception of his or her surroundings. She presents the idea that for one to make it in a world without light, he\she must be able and willing to change their perception of the constituents of light in their life. If they fail to change their perception of light, then something must alter in the darkness so as to get on in their lives. This thing could be a new situation or object that can restore some light in their lives. The poem finally ends with the line “And light steps almost straight,” a point to note is the use of the word “almost” that has a complete effect on the overall conclusion of the poem. She points out that although the life won’t be as straight as it was before, one can bring their life back on track by coming to terms with darkness.