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Introduction & Overview of A Narrow Fellow in the Grass by Emily Dickinson

This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Narrow Fellow in the Grass.
This section contains 249 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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A Narrow Fellow in the Grass Summary & Study Guide Description

A Narrow Fellow in the Grass Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Reading on A Narrow Fellow in the Grass by Emily Dickinson.

Introduction

"A Narrow Fellow in the Grass" is believed to have been written in 1865. A year later, it was published anonymously under the title "The Snake" in a journal called the Springfield Republican. The natural world is portrayed vividly throughout Dickinson's work, and this poem closely examines one of nature's most infamous creatures, the snake.

The poem begins with a description of the shock of encountering a snake. Although the poem's speaker never actually uses the word "snake," the scene is familiar enough for most readers to relate to it. The snake is almost magical as it moves, ghost-like, through the tall grass. The speaker sees only flashes of the snake's scaly skin, but there is evidence of its presence as the grass separates in its wake.

The poem goes on to illustrate how snakes can be deceptive. The word "barefoot" makes the speaker seem even more vulnerable to the serpent's potential threat. Mistaking a snake for the lash of a whip on the ground, the speaker reaches down to grab it and is startled to see it slither away.

The snake, one of the most notorious creatures in the natural world, has long been a symbol of treachery. Although the poem's speaker claims to be a lover of nature, it seems that the snake, while fascinating, is impossible to love. In fact, the speaker reacts to the snake as if it were a living manifestation of the terror of the unknown, for it is both startling and chilling.

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This section contains 249 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Narrow Fellow in the Grass Study Guide
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A Narrow Fellow in the Grass from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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