My Life Had Stood-a Loaded Gun Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in My Life Had Stood-a Loaded Gun Deck (14)
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Key themes

War, relationship between man and weaponry, power, romance


My life had stood a loaded gun

The fact that the gun is loaded shows an underlying desire that the speaker is waiting to be released. Gun imagery is masculine in contrast to the rest of the stanza. Initially just a metaphor however later on speaker appears to become the gun


In corners till a day

'Corners' shows that the speaker was restricted was both restricted and forgotten by the master.


The owner passed, identified/and carried me away

Suggests that women are just objects laying around waiting to be utilised. Power dynamic between gun and owner is introduced = symbiotic relationship. No affection shown by title 'the owner' because it's impersonal


And now we roam in sovereign woods

The word 'we' shows a development in the relationship. Sovereign implies an elevation of the two as they grown together


Every time I speak for him/the mountains straight reply

The gun can reap destruction but only on the command of the master. Exploration of the power dynamic between the two. Clear demonstration that the gun is inferior. The mountains 'straight reply' shows an understanding of the gun and nature


And so do I smile, such cordial light

Warming pleasant imagery, contrasting with general content of death and violence.


It's Vesuvian face/ had let its pleasure through

Demonstrates latent capacity of gun - it shows it takes pleasure in the feeling of anarchy. Possible sexual undertones as the eruption could be of pleasure


And when at night, our good day done/ I guard my masters head

The word 'good' confirms gat the speaker essentially takes pleasure In killing if they're are with their owner. The master and the gun equally rely on each other. Romantic undertones? They are spending the night together


To foe of his, I'm deadly foe

Protective link. Personify the gun to the point the speaker feels it has a capacity to be a foe


None stir the second time/ on whom I lay a yellow eye/ or an emphatic thumb

The 'yellow eye' suggest a predatory instinct of the gun. (Akin to Frankenstein's monster) language suggests that there is an overlap betwee gun and owner and gun has become an extension of him


Though I than he, may longer live

Self awareness of object that they are inanimate and not defined by boundaries of life.


He longer must, than I

Symbiotic relationship because the life of the master is extended through ownership of the gun. Interdependency. Relationship between Dickinson and her poetry? Even though she may die her poetry will live beyond her


Key techniques

Martial imagery, ambiguity, metaphor, exploration of power dynamics