Paper Example. An Analysis of Love and Friendship by Emily Bronte

Published: 2023-05-03
Paper Example. An Analysis of Love and Friendship by Emily Bronte
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Poem Analysis Historical events & places
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1566 words
14 min read

Literature is a form of art that acts as a mirror that imitates real life and society and cast it upon individuals through the use of artistic devices. Numerous types of literature exist, among them poems and poetry. Poems as a part of writing use literal tools such as conceptual metaphor and conceptual blending to give unique meaning to the poem. In other words, the artists play around with words, which are the primary input for this form of art, to discuss society in general. A critical analysis of the poem, including the bibliography of the artist, the historical setting of the poem, and the literary devices employed in the poem forms the foundation of understanding the poem. The following is an in-depth examination of the poem Love and Friendship by Emily Bronte based on these aspects.

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Bibliography Perspective

Emily Bronte, the author of Love and Friendship, lived between 1818 and 1848 in England. Emily lived as an orphan under the care of her aunt following the deaths of her parents. She spent most of her time and early life receiving a primary education at home, where she learned the language and mastered the art of poetry. She served as a world-class author composing poems and showed more significant potential in creative arts. Before her untimely death, Bronte produced a novel entitled "Wuthering Heights," which was one of the best stories of 1847 (Mohammed 191). However, the novel was highly rejected with those against seeing it as salvage and barbaric. Most of Emily's pieces of art drew their foundation from the Yorkshire moors in England. She was a great poet with the ability to intertwine both passion and hate in a single piece of her imaginative and creative works. Emily came from a family of three sisters, the Brontes. Amongst the three, she was the most reserved and spent most of her time working on her artistic designs. She lived at a time when literature was the primary form of communication with which the artists communicated their thoughts and criticized the forms of injustices occurring in society. A closer analysis of Emily's novel and the poem reveals that it was in Emily's nature to write based on the theme of love. She writes "Love and Friendship" based on her experience in life, and being at a young age when she was exploring and experiencing emotions.

Cultural and Historical Perspective

Emily composed "Love and Friendship" earlier, before 1846, but the actual publishing of the work was in 1846. During that time, Emily had made several tours traveling to Brussel, where she studied foreign languages and returned to Haworth following the death of her aunt. She must have composed the poem together with others when she was making these travels as Charlotte discovered the poems in 1846 (Mohammed 189). Therefore, the "Love and Friendship" and Emily's other poems and those of her sisters were an account of a combination of their life experience and their imaginations. In her early life, Emily got her education at home since her parents had died. Later on, she became a teacher, though, for only six months before resigning. Although it is not clear, most of her writings seem to reflect on her personal life with some little creative pieces. Chitham believes that Emily was writing about love with an attitude that seems to deviate from love and inclines more towards friendship because she lived a life of seclusion (180). She rarely associated with people outside her family. Therefore, her negativity towards love and affirmation on friendship emanates from the experience that she lived being close to her two sisters, whom she considered friends. Despite dying at an early age of 30 years, the time is long enough to conclude that she never believed in love as she never got married (Bronte 65).

Literary Perspective

As the name suggests, the central theme in the poem is love and friendship. The poem revolves around the aspect of love with Emily using different literal tools to coining and give the poem a new meaning. Emily compares the various aspects of love and friends, such as the difference in intensity and emotional effects by using similes. The first two lines of the poem serve as excellent examples of the application of the figure of speech in the poem. She compares love and friendship with flowers using rose-briar and holly-tree, respectively. The placing of love against rose-briar is an indication of the two sides of love. Emily thus sees love as a blend of both painful side and thrilling or exciting side. On the other hand, friendship, though not as thrilling and causing excitement as love, goes a long way than love. Unlike love that is only exciting in spring and some, friendship blossom at all seasons, and thus becomes more valuable than love (Pykett 320).

Juxtaposition is one of the ways through which the author influences the metal spaces in the readers. Emily strategically uses juxtaposition when she discusses love and friendship side by side using flowers, rose-briar, and holly-tree. The readers move through the theme of love and friendship when thinking of the two concepts at the same time. Juxtaposition is vital in the poem as it serves as a mirror that reflects on the two allowing the readers to analyze, compare, and contrast the two at the same time.

Emily stamps on the central theme of the pain through the use of rhetorical questions that influences the readers' reasoning. The two questions at the end of the first and second stanzas help the reader to think in the same line as the author. They make the readers resonate in the same line as the author. Emily strategically uses the rhetorical questions in the poem with an understanding that even though the readers may have a different opinion from hers, there is only one definite answer to the questions. Therefore, by answering the questions, the readers subscribe to the same reasoning as the poet.

The poem has a negative attitude towards love while it embraces friendship. The poem has a combination of gloomy, sad, and amused tones. It uses a gloomy and sad mood when addressing the failures of love while employing an amused tone when addressing and embracing friendship as the most desired between the two. Emily, in the poem, seems to be sad about the fact that roses wither off during trying times of the winter despite being beautiful and blooming while the holly trees, although dark when compared to the roses thrive during trying moments (Bronte 115).

In a nutshell, Emily uses the poem as a piece of literature to bring people to the realization and understanding of the difference between love and friendship. She uses poetry and her past life as a way of addressing friendship as the best form of human interaction than love. According to her, love may have higher intensity in terms of emotional affection, but its effect of people does not last long as compared to friendship. The poem serves a call for people to the realization of the importance of friendship in society. Emily sees friendship as a form of mutual interaction that is not demanding in nature. The poem employs various literal devices, including conceptual metaphor and blending, similes, rhetorical questions, juxtaposition, attitude, and tone. These literal devices or elements are critically vital as they increase the aesthetic beauty of the poem, give the poem a new meaning by using ordinary things to coin inner meaning.


Love and Friendship is a poem created by Emily Bronte in 1846. The poem addresses the theme of love and friendship. It compares love and friendship with the intent of demonstrating which of the two is superior to the other. The poem is a reflection of Emily's life. Emily, who died at the age of 30, never got married. Despite dying at a young age, she was mature enough to have her own family, and therefore she must have decided to remain single out of choice. Throughout her life, Emily interacted with her sisters and enjoyed the company of animals. She seems to appreciate friendship more by writing a poem that glorifies friendship over love.

The poem uses numerous literal devices to convey its ultimate massage. For instance, the poem uses similes, where love is compared to roses, while friendship compares to the holly tree. Roses appeal to the eye, but their effect tends to last a short period compared to a holly tree that does not make such appeals to the eye. The similes, in this case, are essential in forming mental images that make readers analyze the theme critically.

Emily further uses rhetorical questions in the poem to influence readers' reasoning and make them think uniquely. The two concepts, love, and friendship, have a detailed analysis placed side by side. The placing of the concepts side by side helps the poet discuss her arguments in a way that appeals more to the readers and invoke critical thinking. Additionally, the author uses a mixture of tones, including sad, gloomy, and amused, to expound on the negative attitude toward love and a positive attitude toward friendship.

Works Cited

Bronte, Anne. Poems of the Bronte Sisters. Xist Publishing, 2016.

Bronte, Emily, Derek Roper, and Edward Chitham. The Poems of Emily Bronte. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995.

Chitham, Edward. "Law Hill and Emily Bronte: Behind Charlotte's Evasion." Bronte Studies 43.3 (2018): 176-187.

Mohammed, Mahameed. "Exploring the 'Romantic in Emily Bronte's Poetry: An Analysis'." International Journal 7.1 (2019): 187-191.

Pykett, Lyn. Emily Bronte. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1989.

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