My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun –
by Emily Dickinson
The gun is a symbol of power and violence. Guns are dangerous, because they have the power to take life away instantly. By introducing us to a gun in the first line, our speaker makes sure that we are on edge and attentive throughout the remainder of the poem.
- Lines 1, 6, 17, 23: The gun becomes an extended metaphor throughout the poem as it becomes representative of the speaker’s power. It is loaded, she can hunt with it, and it’s deadly.