What are the purposes behind Emily Dickinson's use of symbolism and purple imagery, and such in her poems? symbolism of color purple

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The literary technique of symbolism takes the meaning of a word far beyond its literal meaning. Symbols, therefore, are useful poetic devices since they express much in a concise manner.  In her poems that celebrate the beauty and magnificence of Nature, Emily Dickinson often employs symbols and color imagery. In her poem, "Blazing in Gold and Quenching in Purple," Dickinson writes a tribute to the regal glory of the sun that wears colors of kings and queens as it reigns over the sky and all that is in the world, touching the "horizon," symbolic of the earth; the "window," symbolic of houses; the "barn," symbolic of farms; and the "meadow," symbolic of the coutryside.

Meticulous in her selection of words, Emily Dickinson aims at evoking the feelings of things rather than  simply naming them.  To accomplish this goal, she employs colors and symbolism which evoke emotions in the reader. Further, she uses unique poetic forms to both reveal and conceal her thoughts and feelings.  On the other hand, she avoids the florid language of her contemporary Romantic poets, choosing instead to use concise language and much evocative imagery.