Essay, Pages 5 (1138 words)
‘I heard a fly buzz’ explores the cliche rituals of death being interrupted by this peculiar fly and being a distraction in the room to the deceased who supposedly should be in the limelight and the main focus of the room and primarily the main focus of attention. The death rituals is the idea of the deceased having close family mourning by his or her death bed and the decease looking almost near to perfect and having some sort of angelic feel to them.
The death rituals also occur in many religions and the religious believers follow the rituals very strictly. Dickinson proclaims “the stillness in the room” she describes the state of the room as being “still” this could perhaps represent the fly taking ultimate control in the room. Or maybe represents people’s sheer horror of religion and the catastrophic consequences that comes along with it.
Hence why there was this stillness in the room almost as the whole world paused in terror.
By Dickinson in cooperating this ‘fly’ as some sort of interruption, perhaps it symbolises ‘religion’ almost suggesting we are so focused on religion we forget that death is fast approaching and will happen to every human currently living, hence why religion is an interruption from the real world and Dickinson wants people to realise that.
‘Flies’ are normally associated with dirt and disease carriers and also have an element of an satanic feel to them, flies also suck the blood out of humans. It is like they are slowly biting away at the human soul, perhaps this is reflecting Dickinson’s ideas about religion and how they are a corruption and destructing effect to our everyday life’s and even something as small as a fly could have more relevance than religion.
As religion and tradition mean’s very little to Dickinson.
Dickinson uses imagery as she proclaims in the poem “And then the windows failed” referring to the fact that if flies can escape through windows and the windows ‘failed’ then the flies could not escape, perhaps suggesting as humans we cannot escape death as it is fast approaching us. Because the fly did not leave the room as the ‘windows failed’ could perhaps be reflecting religion never leaving our life’s and always having this negative hold on us and, the idea that religion can never really escape and will always be there blind sighting and brainwashing us in the real world.
It is as if religion is becoming this compulsory thing that is not allowed to leave us alone and will be there on our deathbeds waiting till the very last moment of our last breath similarly to the person in the poem. However the symbolism of “failed windows” could be the cause of death of the patient perhaps the patient had some sort of illness and the body was shutting down hence why the “windows failed” as after the line she proclaims “I could not see to see” as her windows are her eyes but the illness beat her and shut down her body.
Dickinson uses imagery in the line “between the light and me” we possess from this line that this person might perhaps of faced a near death experience and going through this tunnel of light approaching before their final breath of life. It is as if there whole life has flashed in front of them and they are currently under- going the last stages of life. “between the light- and me- uses dashes to represent the tunnel the person is going through or perhaps we can gain another interpretation from the line perhaps “light suggests that it is coming from heaven and she is ready to be taken.
However as the sentence uses dashes she is undermining heaven and wondering if it is a place her soul will take her too after she is dead or wonder if another life will be on the cards. Onomatopoeia is used in the line “I heard a fly buzz – when I died” flies usually make noises which drives a sane person to mental instability if it carries on for long enough. As Dickinson perhaps uses the symbolism for “fly” to refer to religion (something she is not very keen on) perhaps this “buzzing noise” could be a warning or something to haunt the person.
Also perhaps this peculiar noise in the room is to distinguish its territory and remind the person who is about to die, religion will never leave you and the church hymns will forever be in your presence and constantly buzzing around you until you die hence why she heard a fly buzz-when she died” Dickinson capitalizes the line “Heaves of Storm” perhaps she is declaring her battle for survival, the battle is so violent there is nothing that could possibly protect her.
Capitals are normally used for the name of places and perhaps she’s in a place with “Heaves of Storm” she’s completely locked in and fighting to break free or perhaps we can gain another interpretation from this line as may be the patient feels the upmost pain and terror and is fighting for freedom within themselves and perhaps there idea of freedom could possibly be death to end the internal struggle they are currently going through whilst being alive in a world they feel they don’t belong in. In “I heard a fly buzz” Dickinson uses the common metre of 8-6-8-6 syllables which is usually used in the hymns and ballads of her poem.
In stanza 3, she states “I willed my keepsakes, signed away” which perhaps referring to the fact she is giving away her materialistic items and as the line has 8 syllables which it is the longest of the lot perhaps she has lots of items to give away which aren’t personal to her heart as she “signed away” extremely quickly perhaps she realises she’s about to die and is unable to take these useless items with her and wants to get rid of them and these items perhaps reflected the items in her life and showing she doesn’t feel life is of any value to her.
She also states in a six syllable metre of “what portion of me be” possessing the fact that not many of her items she is signing away mean a lot to her and only a small portion she is truly accountable for. Dickinson perhaps uses the common metre here to show big or small if you die you cannot take your “keepsakes” with you when you die hence why she “signed away”. In the six-syllable line she proclaims “Assignable and then it was “perhaps meaning she didn’t have to think twice about writing her will as she realizes death is slowly approaching for her and the quicker these items go the faster she can focus on death.