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Tell All the Truth But Tell it Slant

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"Tell all the Truth"      

Emily Dickinson

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant---
Success in Cirrcuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind---

1. What does the expression slant the truth mean?

            Slant the truth means to alter the truth or to not tell the whole story. To give a favored opinion or biased opinion to get across what your trying to say.

2. What might tell all the truth slant mean?

            Tell all the truth slant might mean that you are telling an exaggeration of the truth.  To tell the truth slant is a way to get around the entire truth, without lying.

3. What is the major difference between the two expressions?

            The differences between the two expressions are that one is very blatant and obvious while the other is not so obvious.

4. Explain the meaning of Circuit (line 2) in the context of the poem. What is "To bright for our infirm delight" (line 3)?

The meaning of Circuit is a complete loop and in the context of the poem it is needing to wind your way around it to find the truth.  To bright infirm delight is that we are infirm because we dont have the ability to handle truth. Truth is to much or to bright for us because it can be interpreted wrongly, and we wouldnt know what to do with it either.,

5. Lines 5 and 6 provide an example to illustrate the poet's point about truth. As is typical of Dickinson's technique, she omits several words in these lines. How would you rephrase these lines to make a full sentence? Whats it called when someone omits words on purpose?

Dickenson rephrases the line to make a full sentence by saying lightning eases the children with east explanations.  Parents explain the lightning to ease their fears. Either way we will be frightened, we have to have the truth but it must be eased.

6. What metaphor is implied in line 7? What things is truth being compared with?

 The Metaphor in line seven is that the truth is like a bright light, diamond or jewel that can give us an appearance of dazzled.  Blindness would suggest ignorance, even if we were given the truth, it must be given little by little. The truth is being compared with a great surprise.


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