Emily Dickinson’s poem “I like the look of Agony” focuses people’s attention on great suffering and death. I personally find it to be cold and extremely cruel yet naturally truthful. Contrary to what it may seem, liking the look of agony is not a sadistic manner. It artistically implies how people respond to emotional sufferings and heartache. The poem itself shows the dramatic device of literature, which could be one way of showing her uniqueness and weirdness entertaining herself to go beyond the social norm.
The author puts the sentence “I like the look of agony” at the beginning not because she likes looking to people who is in agony but rather, she is just having the intense interest of the way we absorb emotional sufferings, pain and the agony especially when death of a love one occurs. And it is so surprising to the reader to read the first line being so direct with extreme cruelty. Different emotions occurs and may be expressed inappropriately when we come to realize that death is unavoidable. Some people tend to control their emotions and try to have a full power on them.
They feel comfortable out of it. It is called defense mechanism. Refer to the second line, which I personally believe that it is the heart of the poem, “Because I know it’s true. ” She must have gotten a lot of untrue looks and hated them because she was a painfully shy and homely woman. We can speculate that the untrue looks are looks of interest or even attraction to her: looks of friendship, admiration and love. She doesn’t trust all those things, only the agony of dying, “Homely Anguish” -the personification of love.
We know that most people often fear death, whereas we should be aware of the fact that everyone of us will come to an end and death is close to us. Suffering does not have to be associated with fear. We have to perceive that death is an event and it’s happening to everyone of us. We just have to stand and be prepared to face it. Agony is somewhat like having a cancer. How an excruciating pain of someone who is suffering from severe cancer feels like. This is the moment were we can be genuinely honest on how we truly feels. We don’t assume or pretend, but just live the moment and don’t even know how to gain control of it.
None of us can deceive the physical appearance to go along an agony. In my view, death is something that we have to be prepared. It is unstoppable and beyond anyone’s control. We just have to accept that each one of us is uncertain when coming to an end. Lastly, I agree with what the author has trying to tell us, to be ready to face the last pace of life death. Analyzing this poem of Dickinson is one way of seeing the positive look of agony and death, which is to express the deepest emotions on a highly emotional incident involving the lost of someone.