This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Emily Dickinson's "Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant" Explication

1089 words - 4 pages

An explication of Emily Dickinson’s “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant-” brings to light the overwhelming theme of how one should tell the truth. It also illuminates the development of the extended metaphor of comparing truth to light. From the very beginning of the poem, the speaker is instructing on the best way to tell the truth. Dickinson, through a use of a specific technique of rhyming, literary elements, and different forms of figurative language, establishes the importance of not telling the truth all at once.
Alliteration is a key aspect to how the reader experiences the poem; it especially gives interest toward alliteration of the letter T. This alliteration begins in the very first line “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant-” (1.1). The alliteration on the T is used three times within the first line; however, it does not stop there. Dickinson uses the “T” sound to continually draw back to the theme of truth. Dickinson, through the use of two stanzas, four lines each, uses quite a distinct rhyme scheme to organize her poem. The second and fourth lines of each stanza are clearly examples of end rhyme, by using words such as “lies” (1.2) and “surprise” (1.4). However, every single line is not an example of end rhyme. The first and third lines rhyme words such as “slant” (1.1) and “delight” (1.3); which can be described as near rhymes for they give a small sensation of rhyming. This rhyming pattern continues for the second stanza as well. The sequence of rhyming is not arbitrarily put into practice, rather, it also adds on to the truth theme. The near rhymes Dickinson stresses to not tell the truth in its entirety, but rather, convey a little bit of truth. This is being directly compared to the almost rhyming sensation of near rhymes, in its almost having a sensation of telling the truth.
The very first line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant-” (1.1). Dickinson is by no means stating that we should keep the truth completely hidden; however, she is quickly asserting her opinion of how the truth needs to be told. In telling the truth one must slant or hold back from embellishing all of the details of that particular truth. The ensuing line, “Success in Circuit lies” (1.2), parallels the first lines’ slant with a curvature of a circuit. A circuit goes perfectly around an area eventually returning back to the same spot. Dickinson conveys that only certain details should be let out, eventually giving you the truth as a whole. Also the words chosen in this line seem have reason to be grouped together. The word “lies” (1.2) is paired within a sentence with the word “Success” (1.2), giving the connection that lies may be needed to obtain success. The poem is trying to point out that truth and lies both can become truth, if they are presented in the correct circuit. The third line, “Too bright for our infirm Delight” (1.3), uses a metaphor to compare truth to light. This metaphor is full of...

Find Another Essay On Emily Dickinson's "Tell All the Truth but Tell It Slant" Explication

Should Doctors Tell The Truth? Essay

907 words - 4 pages There are a lot of moral problems in healthcare, one being truth-telling. It is highly believed that a doctor should tell his patient the truth, in order to respect the autonomy of the patient. However aren’t there some cases where telling the truth can proved to be harmful? Can we conceive a world where lying is not permitted? A study of Immanuel Kant’s arguments on truth-telling in general, then an analysis of Joseph Collin’s ideas on truth

Emily Dickinson's There's a Certain Slant of Light

744 words - 3 pages In Emily Dickinson’s lyrical poem “There’s a certain slant of light” she describes a revelation that is experienced on cold “winter afternoons.” Further she goes to say that this revelation of self “oppresses, like the Heft of Cathedral Tunes” and causes “Heavenly Hurt”, yet does not scare for it is neither exterior nor permanent. This only leaves it to be an internal feeling, and according to Dickinson that is where all the “Meanings” lie

Window to the Soul - How the Eyes Tell All

869 words - 3 pages fluttering; are all warning indicators of a person who is being dishonest. It is always easy to tell looking at the eyes directly whether a person is giving details as they recall them happening or if they are making something up in their minds, or even cooking up a lie. The eyelids also give away a liar quite easily when the person blinks non-stop in an attempt to cover up or block the truth from coming out. No wonder most security personnel

Inescapable Truth: An Analysis of "The Tell-Tale Heart". Poe's essay point of view analyzed

900 words - 4 pages that all is not well--a moment of inescapable truth, or inexorable horror.Needless to say, Poe masterfully reaches this "inescapable truth" toward the end of his short story when the protagonist believes he can hear the old man's beating heart:No doubt I now grew very pale:--but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased--and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound--much such a sound as a watch makes when

Gothic Literature: A Rose For Emily, The Tell Tale Heart, and Daddy

1095 words - 4 pages In William Faulkner’s, “A Rose for Emily, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart,” and Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy”, are endowed with many features that contribute to their gothic form and success. Faulkner’s,” A Rose for Emily” is characterized by a powerful imagery, plot and setting which are interwoven to create a gothic feeling. The story unfolds in Jefferson, the living fragments of a land that is plagued with civil war. Among the remains of

The Ambiguity of Truth in How to Tell a True War Story

1069 words - 5 pages have no proof of it. The reader never feels secure in what they are being told. The reliability of the source, the author, and the narrator are always being questioned, but the importance of a story isn’t about the truth or the accuracy in which it is told, but about the “sunlight” it carries (O’Brien 81). A story or experience can be told in many different versions, truthfully or not and they’re all equally valid, each carrying its own equal

Explication of Emily Dickinson's I Felt a Funeral in My Brain

931 words - 4 pages Explication of Emily Dickinson's "I Felt a Funeral in My Brain" Works Cited Not Included In the poem "I Felt a Funeral in My Brain" Emily Dickinson exposes a person's intense anguish and suffering as they sink into a state of extreme madness. The poem is a carefully constructed analysis of the speaker's own mental experience. Dickinson uses the image of a funeral-service to symbolize the death of the speaker's sanity. The poem is

A Rose for Emily and A Tell Tale Heart

1220 words - 5 pages even kill a loved one? It could be that as children they were deprived of love and nourishment that children normally receive. This deprivation of love led them to cling to anyone that made them think they were being love. In A Rose for Emily and Tell-Tale Heart a character murders someone who they love. The two works, share similarities and differences when it comes to the characters, the narratives point of view and reason for killing a loved

Alcoholics Anonumous. This essay tells all about AA. It goes into great detail of how it was founded and why it was founded. It even tell about the different ways it can help people

2005 words - 8 pages . Recently,she said she has had a strained relationship with he teenage son. They have agood relationship, but he knows how to lay guilt trips. Before she was soberher sons got their way all the time, and did as they pleased. He is becomingmore independent and at 16, and getting a drivers license. She has setboundaries, but he does not readily accept this. It is also difficult sherealizes that he mother he knew growing up is a different (sober

Drinking and Driving. This essay tell about all the cons of drinking and driving. It is a personal essay. It is not very well written. It has grammer and spelling errors!!!

767 words - 3 pages party that has nothing but alcohol, because once a person has afew drinks they begin to want more and possibly go overboard with it. Whether itmeans to drink faucet water all night, or just eating chips, we must realizethat enough is enough and stop drinking.In addition to drinking at parties, there is age factor. Young driverswho are between the ages of 16-20 years old are more likely to have alcohol andget into car accidents. That is mainly

Tell the story of a person or animal in your life that annoys you but you still care about

742 words - 3 pages When I was ten my parents finally broke down and got me a dog. We had had one before, but it had a problem locating the acceptable areas to mark its territory, and my little sister was just starting to crawl. Not a good combination. Now she was finally capable of discerning what was edible.We got a one year old golden retriever from a friend who was allergic to it. His name was Gideon. The first day we met him, he took a liking to me; he chased

Similar Essays

Emily Dickinson's "Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant". Poetry Analysis

841 words - 3 pages "Tell all the truth but tell it slant"By Emily DickinsonTell all the Truth but tell it slant---Success in Cirrcuit liesToo bright for our infirm DelightThe Truth's superb surpriseAs Lightening to the Children easedWith explanation kindThe Truth must dazzle graduallyOr every man be blind---Emily Dickinson poem "Tell all the truth but tell it slant" is about telling the full 'truth and nothing but the truth' and how its affects ones perception of

Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant By Emily Dickinson

803 words - 3 pages Tell All the Truth but Tell It Slant by Emily Dickinson Tell all the Truth but tell it slant, by Emily Dickinson, is indeed a poem for eternity. From the very first reading, it moves as a hymn in this author's mind, The Doxology and We Gather Together immediately being hummed. The Doxology, written by the Chaplin to the Bishop of England's Westminster Cathedral for church services, carries the purpose of glorifying fidelity to one's

Lets Tell The Truth Essay

902 words - 4 pages random person would think. i might think that honesty is the best policy is the right thing to do but then others might think that, “Honesty is the cruelest game of all, because not only can you hurt someone(and hurt them to the bone)you can feel self-righteous about it at the same time” (Ronk). When you tell the truth, you can hurt someones feelings and then they would probably hold a grudge. If you lie, that someone that you didn't tell, would

To Tell The Truth Essay

743 words - 3 pages coverage was embedded: a climate in which the press wasn't willing to report negative information about George Bush.People who get their news by skimming the front page, or by watching TV, must be feeling confused by the sudden change in Mr. Bush's character. For more than two years after 9/11, he was a straight shooter, all moral clarity and righteousness.But now those people hear about a president who won't tell a straight story about why he took us