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I am Wife I have finished that Summary Analysis

I am Wife  I have finished that Summary Analysis

 

 

An Introductory Note:[I am Wife I have finished that Summary Analysis ]

Emily Dickinson’s poem ‘I’m “wife”: I’ve finished that is the 199 no. poem in her collection The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series One that was published in 1890. The title of Emily Dickinson’s entitled are I’m ‘Wife’, I’ve finished that-. This is a poem composed in the nineteenth century.

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Substance :

In the first lines of the poem the speaker dealers that she is now a wife. She’s setting aside, at least for the length of this poem, the life of a spinster. From her new perspective, the world looks totally different. She is standing on the bright side of the eclipse, looking down at the world from a place of safety. On the other side, are those who remain unmarried. It is a difference as vast as that between heaven and earth.

The poem concludes with the speaker saying that the life of an older single woman is “pain” and then brushes aside any need for further comparison. This poem basically compares between being a single woman and a wife. It shows a woman’s difference of freedom when they are married and not married. It also exposes the consequences of marriage and gives insight into the gender restrictive values of the 19th century patriarchal society.

An Analytical Summary :

1. In the first line, the speaker announces that she is a wife now. Then she says that she has finished the other state, i.e., the life of a girl or an unmarried woman. She is a Czar now (a title used for kings), but she isn’t a king, rather a female or a queen. So the title ‘woman’ is equally significant as the title Czar or King. It is safer to be married after losing one’s freedom than losing one’s identity.

 

II. The next stanza shows how pathetic and disgraceful was the life of a girl. It is like looking at a weird thing from behind the eclipse. The life before marriage was struggling, full of pain and suffering, like Earth. But the life after marriage is paradisiacal. She gets a heavenly feeling enjoying the life of a wife. There’s no hardship or struggle, but only respect in the society. She gets a position in the 19th century English society.

III. The present life of a wife is comforting and fruitful to the speaker. But that other state, the life of a spinster was painful. It was hard and disrespectful. But she stops comparing because she is a wife now and wants to enjoy the present state of life. Her identity stops then and there. She can’t be independent anymore, neither in her society nor in her thoughts.

Paraphrase :

I’m now a married woman. I have finished the disastrous and sympathetic life of a single woman that other disgraceful stage of life. I am a Czar, an emperor, a woman now. It is safer to be a wife than a girl. How weird is the life of a single woman when I’m sheltered from the pain behind this identity of a wife. That’s why the life of a married woman feels more heavenly than the harsh life of a single woman. This is comfort, that singleness was unbearable, painful. But why should I compare? I’m a wife now and I’m happy. So I should just stop there. Annotations :

That other state the state of the unknown, the lonely state of not knowing if you would be wed or not. N. B. It references a woman’s place in the society, which was centered on whether or not they were appealing for marriage; it’s safer so: refers to having a place within society.

N. B. For women who didn’t get married, there weren’t many other opportunities aside form housework and as women were below men within the society throughout the 19th century, to have a man you are known in relation to, who solidified your place in the world; eclipse: their whole identity of self remains eclipsed by the identity of the man by their side. N. B. Girls were classified in relation to their fathers, and women were classified as their husband’s wives.

So the reference is to one’s husband, since in the time period of this poem, women were always classified in relation to men; soft eclipse: shelter from pain; that earth…-now: the speaker may be disillusioned with marriage, and seek the freedom she may have found had she separated herself from societal norms; earth: the harsh life of a single woman; heaven: a married woman’s life;

this: the married life; other kind: singleness; but why compare: she is comparing thoughts of identity of self with thoughts of simply being known as ‘wife’.

Title :

Her exclamation at the end of the poem also makes the title “Wife” appear flawless, equated to “Heaven” and “comfort.” However, the speaker never explains this view with a definition of her title. She conveys that she is simply glad to have it, whether she understands what it entails or not, in the last two stanzas:

“But Why compare? / I’m ‘Wife’! Stop there!” The only concept she grasps is that, with the title “Wife,” she can finally transition from girlhood to womanhood and gain respectability like the title “Czar.” The speaker understands that in society a woman could only be made out of a girl through marriage. She does not question this concept, but readily accepts it.

Background:

In the 19th century, single girls and spinsters had to worry about their place in the society. Women didn’t have the right to vote, they couldn’t hold many jobs except the low paying ones. Hence, marriage was a safer option for them. Emily had never been married, nor she had a full fledged relationship in her life. In this poem, she uses her imagination to put herself in the shoes of a married woman. She is mocking the society for pressurizing the girls for marriage here.

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