Emily Dickinson: a Presenter New Way Of Literature

February 15, 2021 by Essay Writer

Emily Dickson’s is a famous poet whose work has been a subject of recourse ever since her works were found posthumously by her sister which led to her first publication. Some have cited the author to be a mad genius whose writing style and delivery had yet to be seen in that day and age. She does not showcase a distinct pattern though her poetry was switching from old writing styles available at the time and experimental techniques. For others, Dickson may be a woman not actually in charge of her mental state, a recluse who turned to writing as a sort of outlet managing to express herself through verses and phrases that are incomplete. However, whatever is said about the author none can ignore the significance of her works as a woman and an early feminist in a time where a woman’s opinion was not of much importance.

Dickson seems to muse a lot about the possibilities in life as shown in her writing. She uses wording that implies of things that may happen such as ‘might and could’ (Gervasio 3). In some her poems, she seems to wonder about the afterlife, what may happen to us after we die. She appears to think that the afterlife state is not in any way stagnant. For example in her poem “I heard a fly buzz when I died,” the author seems have died and has come out of her body to experience her funeral. She observes the stillness of the room and the thick atmosphere may be due to sadness and grief. Eventually, she goes back to her body. Dickson uses her imagination to imagine an afterlife. It seems she is curious to have this experience knowing that nobody alive at present completely knows the experiences of life after death. Emily maintains her irregular style of writing of capitalizing what are regular nouns for emphasis and using dashes to provide breath in between her lines (Gervasio 4). For some Dickinson tries her best to reveal the experiences she encounters through the writing of her sensations, this is the only way to expound on how she uses language in the form that she does (Thomieres 17).

Dickson seems to dwell a lot on the darker side of issues to which Bloom described as though she was undergoing severe suffering (Bloom 350). Some her works are pebbled with Christian connotations sometimes referring to a God whom she believed in but was not genuinely convinced if he was just and merciful or was one who left humans to fend for themselves. In some of her poems, she seems defiant against the institution of Christianity though we now well know that she was brought up in a Protestant homestead. However, even in her defiance she still manages to use Christian like components such as ‘Eden,’ ‘heaven’ and even ‘cross’ to describe her spiritual battles. She continues to do this because as much as she fights against it, it seems as though she still places great value in the way that Christianity defines her truth (Hughes 284). The author firmly believed in transcendence though she has not managed to fully expound the experience by only saying it is a state of consciousness.

She showcases signs of being a Modernist which were being uncertain about her beliefs in God and placing a lot of emphasis in scientific discoveries of the time. During her day there existed the New England transcendentalism an ideology that disputed the beliefs in Christianity of purity and redemption. Instead, the people who believed in transcendentalism did not see the need for a religion that is organized so as to reach a point of complete divination (Hughes 286). Many believe that her tendencies towards this type of modernism were due to her adoration of Ralph Waldo Emerson a man whose writing she showed great admiration from a young age. Additionally, she admired scientific thought and development using some of these terminologies within her works. She continues to push her idea of the lack of a single point of divination, but instead, divinity is boundless. She manages to look at nature in the same way that though she admires it greatly, she still feels isolated from completely grasping its full extent. In her poem “To the bright east she flies” she claims that she feels homeless at home maybe expressing of how she feels a lack of belonging set apart from what she should consider her place in the world. In her opinion, it seems that the ultimate faith is one that embraces belief, in this case, Christianity even with the doubts (McIntosh 73). She vacillates between belief and unbelief in different literary styles in a way that completely lacks a constant state of belief maybe eventually providing a strong sense that she feels as though death is the complete termination of the spirit (McIntosh 2).

Apart from just being a poet, Dickinson proves to be an early feminist. For some, she is defined to be manic and a recluse, her work the writings of a chaotic mind. However, she manages to confront the societal issues of her time living at a time where a woman was thought to be feminine if she was submissive and was more seen that heard. Her opinion was not of much concern. The ideal woman was defined according to the standards placed by the man. Dickinson did follow the rules in this regard and according to society’s criteria as a woman. She cooked well, read, wrote a lot of letters and displayed adequate sewing skills (Burns 5). In her writing, however, she was a total rebel going against the grain and refusing to regulate her writing to the standards set. Her work always sounds unfinished as though it was a single idea in the midst of many thoughts.

The keeping of her work to herself was a way of applying control in a segment of her life which was important to her. The rest of her life was available for the scrutiny of society, but her writing was hers alone. Even when she sent out works to newspapers and journals, she did so anonymously maybe wanting to see if her work was right by the nation’s publications. She believed that publication was a commercialization of the mind perhaps alluding to the fact that published writers may have been producing content that was conducive to society’s regulations. In this way, she expressed a type of rebellion refusing to regulate her writing to standards laid out by males (Burns 8). This fact is evident due to the almost complete nonexistence of female writers in literature. Her rebellion in her writing style was seen through the use of dashes, irregular capitalization, refusal to adapt to the iambic pentameter rule and even the inventing of her spelling. Due to many transcriptions done to her works from its traditional form, her style may have been changed over time proving her right over the refusal to publish. It is only in her style that Dickson manages to express herself to her full extent, leading to create a style is admired and even in some ways borrowed by present day writers.

There is a subtlety to the way she draws out the importance of the female voice in her work. In her poem “She Rose to His Requirement- dropt,” Dickinson attempts to expound her feeling of the institution of marriage through her eyes. At the beginning of the poem, she writes that the woman dropped things she thought of as her playthings to do the ‘honorable’ duty of becoming a wife thus entering into marriage (Burns 16). When she says playthings it seems to me that a woman’s interests or work that she performs before marriage is of little importance as compared to the honorable work of marriage. However, in the next stanza, she brings out the fact that as a wife continues to be in marriage in their day and age, a woman continues to lose her potential. Her potential is covered entirely by the Sea which is made out to mean her husband in this case. Her husband continues to gain from the marriage as the wife continues to lose from this institution. Dickinson manages to say that a woman especially one that is married manages to be forced into a system which she cannot win. But that would be the only way a woman would get any sense of financial stability in the nineteenth century.

Again Dickinson seems to show a stifling of the woman’s voice in her work, another way of her showing subtlety when speaking for the woman. She showcases the restrictions placed on the woman through the poem “Over the Fence-” saying that were she to stain her apron, God would be angry. Here the speaker is made out to be distinctly feminine. Maybe the staining of the apron is seen to be signs of an irresponsible woman maybe even one who is not perfect in this sense perfectly clean. She exaggerates the issue intentionally saying God would scold her showing what a small mistake by the woman would be considered of importance.

Through her different style, Emily Dickinson manages not only to present an entirely new way of literature but still manages to discuss difficult societal issues. She breaks away from the norm though not in the obvious behavioral ways rebels in a way only she could see. In a way, she rebels in a way that is most important. She rebels for self.


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