Emily Dickinson's poem, "I felt a funeral in my Brain" literally describes a burial taking place and the events associated with it. However, a deeper analysis reveals otherwise the pains and suffering occurring in the mind of the speaker as he descends from sanity to insanity. The poem is a metaphor depicting the terrifying process as the speaker descents into madness. In fact, the metaphor is extended as it is evident throughout the poem.
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Similarly, there is use of another figure of speech in lines 5-6: simile. The speaker compares "A service like a drum" to give a description of the events in the speaker's mind. Moreover, there is use of Metonymy in line 9 where the speaker uses "a box". We assume that this is a representation of a coffin. In addition, there is personification in line 15, "And I and silence some strange race" where silence and the speaker seem lonely.
Consonance is apparent in line 10, "creak across" to demonstrate the extent of pain suffered by the speaker. The poem uses slant rhyme in the first stanza. The words "Fro" and "through" sound similar although they do not rhyme. This probably illustrates how the speaker's world falls apart.
The use of iambic meter is evident through the use of stressed beat then an unstressed one. This is shown in line 1 "I felt a fune-eral". Similarly, a dramatic break of iambic rhythm is used in line 16 due to the collusion of the accent "Wrecked" similar to when a ship hits a reef. This shows the fatal occurrence in the speaker's mind.
In the poem, it is as though the speaker is thinking. This is shown by the description of the people in her mind having a funeral. Knowledge of Christian religion by the speaker is evident showing that she is religious. It is through imagination that the speaker describes the "funeral" in "my mind". Similarly, all the events and the "mourners" are described though imagery. The speaker also creates the "to and fro" movements of the mourners as a description of events in the funeral. This shows the slow descent of the speaker into insanity.
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