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Formal Writing 2 Final Essay

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Tara Stoltz
Hristomir Stanev
ENG 310-02
28 October 2014
In Emily Dickinson's poem, "Hope is the Thing with Feathers" she uses many literary devices to turn the concept of hope into an extended metaphor. She creates this metaphor of hope through a small bird. She goes on to explain what the bird does, how it acknowledges disaster, where to look for it, and what it will ask in return. Obviously it is an inanimate object, but by giving it feathers and turning it into a metaphor, she hopes to create a more vivid picture of hope. She uses a metaphor of a bird, tone, rhyme, and diction to suggest that not only is hope the poem’s main theme, but that it asks for nothing in return and that it will continually endure. She wants her audience to understand that hope can remain inside of us, even during the darkest and most difficult of times. Hope is the light at the end of the tunnel, or the song of a bird. If one can remain positive and hopeful, then it can offer encouragement to those who seek it. In the very first stanza, Dickinson sets the stage for her metaphor by referring to hope as a “thing” rather than a feeling. Had she called it a spiritual emotion or a human ambition, the metaphor would have weakened significantly. By turning hope into a “thing” she makes it more interesting and understandable to her readers. She is consist...

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