On the Death of Anne Bronte
Charlotte Bronte wrote “On the Death of Anne Bronte” after her twenty-nine-year-old sister, and close friend, Anne died of tuberculosis. The poem expresses not only the tragic feeling of loss after a loved one dies but also the speaker’s experience of her own mortality in the face of death. Over the course of the poem, the speaker comes to favor the peace and finality of death over the strife and struggle of life. She adopts romanticized, Gothic language to describe death in artistic terms that elevate it from reality. In each stanza of the poem, the audience hears the speaker’s struggle with the memories of her loved one’s final, painful moments, ultimately witnessing the paradoxical relief the speaker feels when the loved one is finally laid to rest.