Poem Analysis

In Emily Dickinson's poem "Hope is the Thing With Feathers" she is the speaker

And as the poem states she is a "hopeless" person. She talks of the virtues of hope, and

how important it is, and all the places it can be found

but she, herself has no hope. I

think the audience Dickinson intended for this poem is anyone who wishes for or needs

hope-, which, in time would be anyone who might read it. Dickinson gives no specific

setting, but does talk of specific places. 14owever the poet-n is not "set" in those places.

The central purpose of this poem is to personify "hope" to the reader. Dickinson

makes hope something tangible that the reader can identify with; she twins hope into

something concrete. The central idea is that hope gives life its purpose ... it is the facet that

gives a reason to all the chaos of life.

Dickinson uses a number of devices for the effect of her message, She first uses

metaphor in line one by saying Hope is the thing with feathers.

, Granted feathers are not

a human characteristic, nevertheless an animal trait also qualifies. Assonance is used in

lines six, eight, and eleven. Consonance also gives effect in line eleven. Alliteration

stands out in lines three, nine and ten. Perhaps the most effective device she uses is

personification. In line three she uses personification by saving "hope sings." We all

know hope does not really sing, but the personification gives a certain image. With the

use of this Dickinson gives way to imagery. This poem is full of imagery. It shows hope

as a bird; it shows "the bird" resting in one's soul to sing and never stop, and it shows the

little bird being swept away by a storm that can easily destroy the little bird that comforts

one so. Dickinson shows the bird in cold lands, and in foreign seas, but never in her own


Dickinson says that Hope has feathers -- it is a bird that is situated deep within

our souls; hope is found in our hearts. It makes itself known by the feeling it exudes, even

though it cannot actually be seen. Finally hope never ceases to exist once you have it. She

seems to have seen hope in everywhere except in herself The tone of the poem is

basically dark. It starts out giving positive description of hope, but she quickly gives

imagery of hope being destroyed, and of herself not having any,

This poem is allegoric because it reads as a poem about a little bird that is killed

in a storm, but it is really the tale of hope that lights up one's heart and with one,


event, it can be depleted.

The poem basically gives the thought of hope a hopeless feeling. Dickinson

crushes your idea that hope exists. She makes you believe that it is only in a fantasy

world, like a fairy tale where everyone lives "happily ever after." The poem has a harsh

truth because we all know in the real world no one lives "happily ever after."