I like the look of Agony

Paper Rating: Word Count: 505 Approx Pages: 2

Emily Dickinson's lifestyle reflects her wonderful poetry. In her poem, "I Like the Look of Agony,  she affects the reader by her use of literary devices. With these devices, such as imagery, personification, and connotations, she reveals her contrasting enjoyment of the expression of agony.

The speaker in this poem is the narrator, telling about her fascination with the expression of agony. This fascination is the only characteristic that is evident to the reader.

At first, the tone of the poem could be interpreted as sadistic and cold and is evident in the opening line, "I like a look of Agony.  When reading the whole poem, the reader will be able to understand the meaning of the first line. Dickinson doesn't enjoy watching others suffer; she is only fascinated with the expression of pain and fear. In the second line, "Because I know it's true,  (line 2) it is clear to why she has this fascination. Many people do not show their true emotions, they can comfortably control them, but people in agony are removed from that comfort zone, and therefore this causes fear. But after reading the poem, and understanding the meaning, the tone can also be genuine, and simple. This is apparent in line 8, when the word "homely  is use to represent agony. The connotation of this word is simple, plain and unattractive.

People can not fake the physical reactions accompanying agony and in line 6, "impossible to feign,  Dickinson tries to disguise these reactions. Dickinson uses imagery to describe the reactions from the pain, such as the physical reactions of a convulsion, a throe, and eyes glazing over are effective as reminders because they all have a connotation of pain and death. Pain is something that tends to suggest an instinctual fear in people, so as Dickinson describes the painful reactions people have, the reader i... Continue Reading