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Analysis and comments on There's been a Death, in the Opposite House, by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 14 of 64, added on November 30th, 2005 at 5:51 PM.

I think that all Emily is saying is that basically, people are conditioned
to deal with death from a young age because death has visible signs even
when the actual “death” itself isn’t apparent. Because of this, much of the
emotional aspects of death are non-existant in the onlookers of the scene
because they have been desensitized to the whole concept of death. The use
of "it" in line 11 (they wonder if it died on that-) completely
depersonalizes the persons death, and thus, the children who are wondering
about "it" show no emotion towards the situation, but rather grimace at the
thought of the dead body. Yet, the speaker states "i used to when a boy"
showing that this non-sentimental attitude towards death is innate in
children. In a nutshell, the theme is that the scene of death has visible
signs even when a body is lacking, and beginning at a young age we pick up
on the signs and thus become conditioned to deal with death.

kylie from United States
Comment 13 of 64, added on April 20th, 2005 at 1:04 PM.

*****Quote******I understand the overall meaning of the poem and that she
is trying to show the different reactions of various characters to death,
but the last stanza throws me off, as does the mention of the "dark parade"


matt from United States ******Quote*****


To matt a dark parade would be like a funeral procession we today have

xxbloodyxwristxx from United States
Comment 12 of 64, added on February 3rd, 2005 at 12:00 AM.

Hahaha. You humor me. I am scared of you, Mr.
I'm-Gonna-Kill-You-Then-Myself-Man. How are you going to hunt me down? I
honestly don't think that an internet Comment Board is the right place to
look for advice on whether or not to kill yourself. How about a
psychiatrist? I'm sure TIMMY-C would be willing to give you a ride, because
his car goes really fast, and everything. God doesn't love you.

Sathappan from United States
Comment 11 of 64, added on February 2nd, 2005 at 2:37 PM.

Karlton, i will help you in your quest to find death, after i help you find
Sathappan and Christ. i love my car. it goes so fast.

TIMMY-C from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Comment 10 of 64, added on February 2nd, 2005 at 11:48 AM.

I am going to hunt you down and find you christ and sathappan, i dont
appreciate what you said at all. You mock the status of my life and tempt
me to kill my own self. You two are evil people. I will kill you.

karlton from United States
Comment 9 of 64, added on February 2nd, 2005 at 10:18 AM.

Well done, Karlton! I don't care about you either! Maybe I'll see you in
the after life, except you might be in hell! Jolly good work! Keep it up!
Nooses are great!

Sathappan from United States
Comment 8 of 64, added on February 2nd, 2005 at 9:34 AM.

Yea Karlton, youre right. Death is your only option. Go for it.

Christ from United States
Comment 7 of 64, added on January 23rd, 2005 at 7:04 PM.

I love her work!!

Elle from Australia
Comment 6 of 64, added on January 19th, 2005 at 1:57 PM.

I understand the overall meaning of the poem and that she is trying to show
the different reactions of various characters to death, but the last stanza
throws me off, as does the mention of the "dark parade"

matt from United States
Comment 5 of 64, added on January 12th, 2005 at 7:50 AM.

It is to be remembered of Dickinson that she uses many voices, in this poem
in particular it is a grown mans recollection of death 'They wonder if it
died- on that-/ I used to when a Boy-' the trivilising by calling the dead
body 'it' encompasses the feeling of the poem. The mudane realities of
death, such as taking 'measures of the House' for a coffin and making of
the hats for the funaral, is far from the mystical Interpretation of her
other works. Dickinson critises the minister who 'goes stiffly in-/ As if
the House were His-' and the monopolising he and the other proffesions do
with death. There is a natural morbid curiosity, as the news is spread
around the town. Here death taken down to its every day realities.
In response to previous comments I recommend a more thorough reading of
both this poem and Dickison's collective works. Her preoccupation with
death and the after life stems not from continuous suicidal tendancies, but
the strick Calvinistic enviroment in which she lived. The split between the
elect and a damned caused Dickinson to question her own thoughts and
believes. It is true that Dickinson's profound, but ordinary, desciptions
of pain and loss are difficult to reproduce, hence the appreciation shown
by any like minded sufferer. i refer such an appreciator to ' i shall keep
singing' and suggest they try to emulate qualities suggested in 'Her Losses
make our Gains ashamed' (Dickinson's homage to George Elliot') I hope this
shall make for more intellectual discussion of Dickinson's works.

Ellie from United Kingdom

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Information about There's been a Death, in the Opposite House,

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 389. There's been a Death, in the Opposite House,
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 25429 times
Poem of the Day: Mar 30 2002


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By: Emily Dickinson

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