’s What Soft Cherubic Creatures Essay, Research Paper
Emily Dickinson’s “What Soft- Cherubic Creatures-”
Emily Dickinson’s poem “What Soft- Cherubic Creatures-” is a poem that deals with the universal concept of hypocrisy; that is to say, one tends to show one face to the world which is merely a fa ade to hide the inner passions one has towards the outer world. Though Dickinson does not come right out and blatantly accuse us for being hypocrites, it is the diction and literary style in this poem that she employs that extenuates her ideas; “What Soft- Cherubic Creatures-/ These Gentlewomen are-/ One would as soon assault a Plush-/ Or violate a Star” (1-4). My interpretation of the preceding quatrain is that the ’soft cherubic characters’ is in reference to those of us whom expel to the people around us some divine and angelic behavior, all the while hiding their true desires within. They’re inner feelings such as those expressed in “One would soon as assault a Plush-/ Or violate a Star” (3-4), is part of the intangible nature of the objects with which the hypocrites are unable to show their true feelings towards. They exhibit restrain and the utmost respect to the objects of societies’ affection, yet all the while their inner passions are focussed in the opposite direction and, when and if the opportunity may arise, they would succumb to their inner desires.
Hypocrisy is a ‘horror’ for the human race, for it makes everyone weary of the true feelings one has towards someone or some belief. “Such Dimity Convictions-/ A Horror so refined-/ Of freckled Human Nature-/ Of Deity- ashamed-” (5-8). The second quatrain depicts the nature of nature of hypocrisy as a ‘freckle’ on the face of humanity. In this quatrain, Dickinson incorporates great diction that formulates into great imagery and allows greater understanding for the reader. Dickinson’s universal theme of hypocrisy is characterized as being a distinct and ‘refined horror’ which is a part of the imperfect human persona, yet although we all believe that we are different from one another, our convictions lead us towards feeling ashamed.
In the third and final quatrain, Dickinson reveals the universality of the horror of hypocrisy; “It’s such a common-Glory-/ A Fisherman’s-Degree-/ Redemption-Brittle Lady-/ Be so- ashamed of Thee-” (9-12). “It’s such a common-Glory” (9), reveals that although we like to believe that this ‘problem’ may be situated among a small group of people, Dickinson rather extenuates in this last quatrain that it is universal and ‘common’. The final line of the poem “Be so-ashamed of Thee-” (12), makes on wonder if he or she truly is tied to his or her convictions, and if so, wouldn t one not allow his or herself to go astray from his beliefs?
Emily Dickinson’s poem ” What Soft- Cherubic Creatures”, is about the universality of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy in society is deemed unacceptable and quite offensive to those who are found to practice it, yet all the while if we just look closer at our selves we can easily find that we too are guilty in one form or another of hypocrisy. As Emily Dickinson alluded to in her poem, hypocrisy is just one of the many ‘freckles’ or imperfections in our human persona which hinders us from reaching our full potential and will continue to cause conflict throughout the world.