Critical Essay Sample on Personification in Emilya Dicksons Apparently with no Surprise

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Literature review
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Apparently with no surprise is one of Emily Dickinson’s poems in which personification dominates the whole setting and scenery that the poem depicts. The primary theme of the poem is mortality and its natural existence in daily life. Personification is instrumental in exposing the poet’s thoughts on death and nature. Dickinson gives characters such as flowers and the sun to show how nature supports the cycle of life to mortality while unintentionally hurting the living. Personification is used in the entire poem, and one may argue that the poet primarily used personification to express the theme of life and death as a natural occurrence. Some reviews demonstrate that personification is also a smart technique that the author adopted to make the poem more interesting and thought to provoke. Through the poem, one can understand the author’s attitude towards mortality and nature. Dickinson creates a thoughtful view of life. The author attempts to evoke the reader’s thoughts on some of the difficult questions in life such as death and the role of nature through the creative use of personification. Dickinson uses personification as a valuable tool, not only to make the poem interesting but also to express her attitude and thought towards the theme of nature and mortality.

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Apparently with No Surprise Personification

Dickinson uses personification to provoke the imagination of what the flower, the frost, or the sun may feel during a sunny morning. In the poem, The sun proceeds unmoved while the flower’s head has been cut off. The author’s thought about nature is clearly shown in the poem. The idea that Dickinson has about mortality is that it does not fear nor favor anyone/anything. Everything happening in the scenario is an event in nature. Nature is depicted as a cyclic phenomenon that firmly proceeds despite the damages that it may do. The assumption that one may derive is that any damage done through the course of nature is unintentional but just part of the cycle of mortality. "Apparently With no surprise" is a title that helps explain the attitude of the author towards death. The flower has a life span and a period in which it flourishes before the icy winter. When the next season begins, despite that the flower is precious, its time is up. Through the poem title, one understands that the cycle of nature is usual and that everything has a lifespan. Mortality is thus explained as an event that shows the end of a current period. The third and fourth lines of the first stanza describe that frost unintentionally kills the flower while it plays. The two lines allude to the moment when the ice covers plants as winter begins. When winter begins some flowers go back to earth until the season ends. The author personifies the frost to show that mortality is an unexpected event of nature that is not surprisingly usual.

Personification is a useful tool for Dickinson in "Apparently With No Surprise" as it is used to evoke cleverly interest in the characters. The words employed in the first line of the second stanza, The blond assassin passes on is an intelligent use of personification to make the rather dark and violent scenario interesting. The line creates a light feeling to a situation that was initially shown to be terrible and sad. The personification of the frost as a blond assassin is a satirical acceptance of the terrible event (the frost kills the flower) as a regular event of nature. The cold is made to appear as an assassin after an event that was initially described as accidental and unintentional. The personification of the frost as an assassin who proudly passes on is meant to establish that the end of the beauty of summer and fall is quite tragic but still part of the course of nature. The stanza continues to depict the course of nature and its effects as something that one should not interfere with but instead accept. Mortality as an effect of nature is represented in the second stanza as a regular occurrence. After the first line, the author continues that, The sun proceeds unmoved, To measure off another day, For an approving God. Meaning that God approves of the ordinary cycle of nature despite the accidental hurts it causes.


In conclusion, a personification is a tool that is used in the entire poem to depict the attitude of the author and to evoke interest in the characters. The author uses personification to show that mortality is part of nature while nature is described to be a cycle that goes on firmly without favoring anyone. The unintentional killing of the flower by the frost is shown as a routine part of nature. The endings or mortality of the flower signifies all other things in life that exist only within a particular period. Personification is used by the author to express the idea that we should accept mortality and its hurts as the usual process of nature. The sun is personified to show the continuity of the process of life amidst the unintentional harms that it may cause. The sun proceeds unmoved by the death of plants due to the winter cold as it must proceed with its natural course to usher in the next season day by day.

Apparently with No Surprise Quotes

  • Apparently with no surprise To any happy Flower

  • The Frost beheads it at its play — In accidental power — The blonde Assassin passes on

  • The Sun proceeds unmoved To measure off another Day

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