Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Analysis of Alabaster Chambers (1859 & 1861) 11th Grade

“Alabaster Chambers”, much like many of Emily Dickinson's other works, showcases the theme of death without directly addressing the subject but instead guides the readers to the topic by means of the imagery. The first stanza of the original 1859 publication, depicts the illustration of the “meek members of the Resurrection” sleeping safely in their Alabaster Chambers, implying that they are protected from the progression, afflictions and joys that those in the living world must endure; though in their division from the living, they are also ignorant of the insignificance of their death as the natural world continues.

As Dickinson was raised in the Puritan tradition, she was familiar with the concept of death as a waiting period before resurrection into the afterlife and is perhaps questioning the Calvinist faith in which she was brought up or is possibly confident in this belief as she refers to the dead as “sleepers”, which signifies that they will awake and reinforces the Puritan belief in the ferrying of the faithful upon the Second Coming of Christ. The scene portrayed to the audience forces them to contemplate the possible inferred perspectives on Puritan beliefs by Dickinson- that...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1320 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9875 literature essays, 2499 sample college application essays, 464 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in