POEMS: The Soul Selects Her Own
Selects Her Own Society
In this particular poem, Dickinson is commenting on how
selective humans tend to be with the people and
situations they associate themselves with. In the first
quatrain, Dickinson makes note on how once the soul
"selects her own society" (line 1), the rest of the
world is shut out and the soul refuses to dance with
any other groups. In the second quatrain, Dickinson
writes on how even when incredible circumstances come
upon one, the soul remains "unmoved" (line 7).
Dickinson concludes the poem by reiterating the theme
that the soul has the ability to choose whatever domain
or friends they want; it's getting the soul to allow
change that's difficult.
Throughout the poem, there is a recurring image of the
opening and closing of doors and pathways. These images
appear in line two ("…shuts the door;"), line
six ("…her low gate;"), and line eleven
("…close the valves of her attention…").
The closing off of a walkway parallels how Emily
Dickinson feels about people closing themselves off to
the window of opportunity that exists around us every
single day. This particular image is ironic in that
Dickinson rarely left her home and was something of a
hermit in her later life.
This poem focuses around the theme that there is always
more to life than the circle of friends and community
you surround yourself with.
Updated on: Monday, August
31, 1998 11:31:46 PM