Sexual Links In todays society, no matter what age a person is, there is a common bond that links all generations together, which is sex. Whether it be the sex gender definition we think about or the private and intimate sexual union of two individuals that consists of a male and female. Sex truly has a great impact on our society because it advertises through television commercials of certain products, such as alcoholic beverages, radio commercials, magazine advertisements, phone sex, and even accessible on the internet. No matter how much we try to avoid this topic, it will be virtually everywhere in our daily lives. Emily Dickinson portrays the sexual orientation between a male and female metaphorically in her poem, “I Started Early I Took my Dog.” Dickinson uses imagery to incorporate parts of religion in her sexual fantasy. The creative imagery in her writing makes us rethink if religion and sex has anything to do with the poems content.
Presumably, this sexual intimacy has made Dickinson think about her own religious morals and values as a person, and if she can withstand the temptations of sex. As the poem opens up, the speaker seems confident and assured as we could see in the first line: “I started Early Took my Dog.” This however is not apparent in the rest of her poem because the word “mouse” is later on used to describe the speaker. Comparing a mouse to a larger mammal, it is a small rodent that is incompetent and lower in status compared to others. Presumably, if we were to compare it to the speaker, we can only imagine how she feels in a male dominated society. To make the mouse appear minute in her poem, Dickinson uses significantly large and spacious words such as “Basement,” “Frigates,” and “the Upper Level” to display this imagery. While she incorporates the setting to be located at the sea; thus making the sea signify the large open, never ending body of water.
Water is thought of as clear and refreshing form of purified liquid. The word “Mermaids” is defined as a legendary creature appearing to be part woman and part fish. Mermaids come from the “Basement”, the lowest fundamental part of the sea, to lure the sailors in from the “Frigates.” Frigates, which are warships could represent the continuous battle with the mermaids of whether the speaker wants to initiate in this sin. This can exemplify deception, which lies within the mermaids and the basement that represents sin. The “Upper Floor” is important because it is where her conscious and morals relate on a more mental state, which makes her contemplate what she wants to do.
This is where her faith is tested and her actions are decided upon whether she chooses her religion or sex before marriage. According to Dickinsons history, we know that her life at one point involved going to church and believing in a God because she attended church; however, she discontinued going to church since she began to doubt her faith. The doubting of her faith may never be explained because her faith is confidential and personal. She was raised within a strict religious culture, which prohibited any sexual relationships to occur outside of marriage. If this ever occurred between two individuals it would be considered a sin, and the violators would be condemned with the proper punishment for their crime. The tide represents the sexual and physical flow leading into their sexual orientation.
It can also be known that the man is in control of the situation. I say this because the tide refers to the fluctuations of the movement of the salty waters. In essence, it could mean the sexual flow of the two during sex. This must be the introduction of what Dickinson wants to portray before she goes into detail about the undressing of the speaker. “Apron” and “Bodice” which are types of clothing typically that a woman wears is described.
It is now apparent that the speaker indeed is a female because of her attire. The word “simple” used to depict the speakers shoe then leads us to the fact that she either lives a simple life or is a simple person. “And made as He would eat me up — / As wholly as a Dew” reveals the slow pace and greedy passion of the lover in that he wants to take her all in at once. Dickinson describes the woman as if she were a fruit related to a type of dew. When we contemplate dew as sweet juicy and mouth watering fruit, it is here where the dew is being used as a simile to compared to as the woman. It is also at this point where we see the dew at its ripened and full grown form which signifies that the speaker is at her age level where she is able to be fertilized. Looking at the line “Upon the Dandelions Sleeve”, a dandelion is a small flower that also represents the female speaker.
The sleeve of a dandelion is used as a metaphor for the stamen of the flower, which is then ready to be pollinated. The next line then says, “. . . I started too” gives us the impression that the speaker is too participating in this sexual account with the male.
The climatic peak of this sexual union is displayed in the last two stanzas. He went along with what she physically initiates and made certain that he was close to her. The speaker then indicates that she feels “his silver heel.” It might be questionable of what silver heel could represent, but in this case the lovers heel is the males penis. Silver when defined could be a chemical compound, but in this case it represents worth and value of money. It describes how significant and valuable this penis is because of what it contains, sperms. Sperms are the male reproductive cells, which is needed in the processes of reproduction.
“Would overflow with Pearl” symbolizes the ejaculation of sperm or semen, which the male exerts. This is an important element in reproduction. The intensity of the sexual pleasure must have reached its highest peak at this particular point since the next line mentions the two meeting “the solid town.” We could see that solid could describe that the male lover then got erect and could not function in the sexual intercourse no more. He could not physically continue on with the sex, he then retrieved. Emily Dickinson does a wonderful job describing in depth about sex.
When reading this poem at first we might not even begin to associate sex with her poem, but it is continuous rereading of the poem, which it is then understood. It is apparent that she is secluded from the world because she wants to, yet display such great knowledge of life through her poems. Religion and sex never went hand in hand because if sex took place before marriage it was and is still considered a sin against the church. She seems unsure about her faith and where God lies in her life. Her metaphors and similes are extremely in depth and definitely insightful.