It is a moment of expectation, of waiting. For literal-minded readers, a dead narrator speaking about her death presents a problem, perhaps an unsurmountable problem. Is the dying woman or are the witnesses misled about death? There is "stillness in the air," and the watchers of her dying are silent.
There are other interpretations of the fly.
The death in this poem is painless, yet the vision of death it presents is horrifying, even gruesome. Does the fly suggest any realities of death--smell, decay? Flies do, after all, feed on carrion dead flesh.
It effectively juxtaposes the trivial and the momentous; the movement from one to the other is so swift and so understated and the meaning so significant that the effect is like a blow to an emotional solar plexus solar plexus: Clearly aware of her dying, the speaker observes that the mourners await the moment of death just as she does; their eyes have been "wrung Can the poem support more than one of these interpretations of the fly?
Are the witnesses also waiting for a revelation through her death? I willed my keepsakes, signed away What portion of me I Could make assignable,-and then With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz, Between the light and me; And then the windows failed, and then I could not see to see.
Or is immortality a state of consciousness in an eternal present? They are also quiet, exhausted from their watch and preparing now for the final loss. Johnson, has numbered them according to his conclusions about their order of composition this poem is numbered How can a dead woman be speaking?
If the fly indicates the meaning of death, what is that meaning?
But by the end of the poem, the fly has acquired dreadful meaning. If the dead woman can still speak, does this mean that dying is perpetual and continuous?
The crux of this poem lies in the way you interpret this discrepancy. In the anticipation of the rapturous entrance of the spirit into death, much like that of the first poem, there is only the auditory image of an insect that feeds upon that which is rotting or dead.
Yet, despite their differences, both poems exhibit a playfulness and wit: They are usually labeled by their first lines, and her modern editor, Thomas H. Ironically the fly, not the hoped-for king of might and glory, appears. Here Dickinson lampoons the folderol that often enters the mourning process: The middle of the poem emphasizes the silence as temporary, as a fragile period between storms of suffering and weeping.
The fly may stand for Beelzebub, who is also known as lord of the flies. On the other hand, in the second poem, "I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died," there is a boldness, rather than a blitheness, to the tone of this verse.
Some readers find it misleading because the first clause "I heard a fly buzz" does not prepare for the second clause "when I died". Death brings revelation, when God or the nature of eternity becomes known.
Her breathing indicates that "that last onset" or death is about to happen. The poem describes a lull between "heaves," suggesting that upheaval preceded this moment and that more upheaval will follow.
Is she-- are they--seeing the future as physical decay only? To extend this question, is it significant that the only sign of vitality and aliveness in the entire poem is the fly?
For Christians, death is the beginning of eternal life. The room is silent except for the fly.Mortality is definitely the big theme in "I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died," its whole reason for existing.
Dickinson uses the poem to explore all kinds of things about death. "Because I could not stop for Death" teaches us that death is not to be feared, it is not an end to life but the beginning of a new journey. Death should not be sought after but neither should it. Some readers find it misleading because the first clause ("I heard a fly buzz") does not prepare for the second clause ("when I died").
Is the dying woman or are the witnesses misled about death? does the line parallel their experience and so the meaning of the poem? In the poem “I heard a fly buzz when I died” the feeling of death being present in the room is the tone.
In the poem the speaker writes “For that last onset- when the King/ Be witnesses- in the room.”. - Death in Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died Emily Dickinson's two poems, "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" and "I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died," revolve around one central theme, death.
Therefore, “Because I could not stop for death” and “I heard a fly buzz – when I died” are written on different tone, and mood of both poems hold opposite views.
Next similarity between Dickinson’s poems is showed in her use of slant and exact rhyme in both of these poems.Download