Deconstructing the "Wife<-->Girl" New Critical Tension or Structuralist Binary Opposition
The poem's speaker treats "Wife" and "that girl's life" as if they came into existence transcendently, without a process of construction, and endure eternally outside time. But we know that "girls" in Dickinson's era usually are born as a result of "Marriage" between men and women. "Marriage" is the unspeakable process that connects the New Critical "terms in tension" and the moment when the Structuralist "binary opposition" between "Wife" and "Girl" is bridged by an "excluded middle term," a moment or moments in time when "Girl" and "Wife" either coexist or do not exist. The poem continues to deconstruct if we watch "Marriage" disseminate its unspeakable signifiers.