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Analysis and comments on Over the fence by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 3 of 23, added on March 26th, 2012 at 10:55 PM.

This poem should be viewed as a critique of the physical human condition
that is temptation and desire. The strawberries are a metaphor for sexual
awakening and an biblical reference is being made to the fall of man in the
Garden of Eden. In regards to the apron, I view it as a metaphor for the
chastity of the speaker because it not only physically covers the female
reproductive organs but it also protects the female dress, or reputation,
from harm. If God were a human, he could understand our temptation and
desire for sexual awakening instead of scolding us for our human nature.

Sarah Winebarger from United States
Comment 2 of 23, added on June 24th, 2010 at 5:40 PM.

If I enjoy the world too much, God will chasten me, but He made me and must
know what it is like.

frumpo from United States
Comment 1 of 23, added on December 14th, 2004 at 3:43 PM.

In the beginning, a biblical allusion is made by the inclusion of
"strawberries" (i.e. the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden). The
berries represent not only sexual promiscuity and desire, but the
temptation of sin in general. Dickinson could choose that path if she so
desired, but "if I stained my Apron--God would certainly scold!" The point
here references either the blood of childbirth or perhaps the menstrual
cycle of the female body.

Dickinson then closes with the argument that God might himself be tempted
by the ways of the world were He a boy and not God.

Kevin Barker from United States

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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Information about Over the fence

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 251. Over the fence
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 1489 times


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By: Emily Dickinson

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