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“Wild Nights!” by Emily Dickinson

Who is the Speaker?

Wild Nights is known as one of the most thought-provoking poems written by Emily Dickinson in 1891. This verse has captured readers’ attention and imagination due to its ambiguous nature. It narrates about passion, desire, rapture, and ecstasy; yet, it also describes the powerful natural phenomenon. Emily Dickinson used metaphor, simile, allusion, and other literary devices to create such a captivating story (Dickinson, 2020). Nonetheless, the public was shocked to receive such messages from the author, since no writer could ever compare sexual desire to an impending storm.

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Subsequently, one can notice that a poem’s speaker is an immensely ardent person craving to spend “wild nights” with their absent lover. Perhaps, it is a woman who is hungry for her partner’s love since she has not seen them for a long time. She imagines herself as a boat and a sailor at the same time trying to return to port on a stormy night. Her sexual desire is embedded in comparison with a rough sea. A woman desires to share “luxury” with her beloved one, which implies her intense sexual yearnings.

Despite her passionate and wild character, she is endowed with immeasurable calmness. Strong sea winds agitate her restless heart, but she would be sheltered by love if her lover were near. Hence, one may perceive her longing for safety and peace with her partner so that nothing could distress her. Seeing this contrast between her and the stormy weather, she looks small and helpless; however, she is determined to discover a “port” or a place where she would feel at home (Dickinson, 2020). Her boldness and faith are unwavering, and her character is solid. Consequently, the speaker creates the image of a reckless and passionate, but calm and gentle person who wants to overcome any “storm” in order to reunite with a person she loves.

Having considered the speaker’s traits, it is possible to visualize her appearance. She had much experience that led her to realize that love is the only feeling that guarantees security and peace. She must be in her thirties, but she feels like a wild child and a wise person at the same time. She has long red hair and bright green eyes burning with passion and lust for love. Yet, these striking features are softened by her pale and tender skin. As a result, her overall personality includes wildness, affection, gentleness, and calmness that coexist without contradiction.

Character Analysis

Kate Chopin wrote about women who did not conform to social norms. For instance, in The Awakening, a story of self-discovery, Chopin described a married woman Edna who left her husband to begin an adulterous affair, which was not accepted in society (Nur, 2017). However, the audience considered the novel to be exceedingly scandalous in the 19th century. Yet today, it is regarded as a significant work of feminism in literature (Nur, 2017). This woman struggles for her independence from societal biases. People around there often told her about the pleasure of being a mother; yet, she rejected this imposed opinion since she desired to live free of the others’ expectations.

Maya Kobabe wrote an autobiography titled Gender Queer, where she describes her journey of finding oneself. As a regular teenager, Maia experienced peer humiliation, infatuations, and breakups (Kobabe, 2019). She also struggled with the issue of gender identification, which often faces condemnation from people. The author tells the story of opening up to her family, friends, and society, which is complicated due to such a phenomenon’s rarity (Kobabe, 2019). Yet, Maia Kobabe desires to explain why gender identity is essential for those who feel uncomfortable in their body.


Dickinson, E. (2020). Emily Dickinson collection. Books on Demand.

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Kobabe, M. (2019). Gender Queer: A memoir. Oni Press.

Nur, D. (2017). An analysis of the feminist characters in Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening.” Journal of English Educator Society, 2(1), 1-20. Web.

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