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My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun –

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun –


by Emily Dickinson

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun – Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #1

The Owner passed – identified –
And carried Me away – (3-4)

"The Owner" makes reference to the power inherent in ownership. It could be something outside of the speaker owning her, or it could be a part of the speaker owning her "Life," as in an emotion taking her over. The theme of ownership, agency, and power continues from this point.

Quote #2

And every time I speak for Him –
The Mountains straight reply – (7-8)

At the very least, this quote describes an awe-inspiring event: mountains answering a woman. We’re not sure of the last time something as big as a mountain answered you, but it’s certainly been a while for us. These lines could also relate to the gun metaphor. If the speaker’s life is a gun, then her speech may be the shot of a gun. The reply of the mountains could then be the echo of a loud gunshot, thus symbolizing the power of her voice.

Quote #3

I guard My Master's Head – (14)

Much like the passage about the "Owner," the speaker’s reference here to her "Master" is a clear signpost of the power this person/thing has over her. One gets the image of a slave and master, the former at the beck and call of the latter. The fact that the "Master" is male is significant with regard to the theme of "Gender."

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