Emily Dickinson - Belonging

To belong requires greater commitment than to not belong

Belonging is a concept that is desired by some and rejected by others. The 19th century poet, Emily Dickinson found it was impossible for her to compromise her own values, for   the sake of belonging to her community. In Emily Dickinson's poems "I gave myself to him" and "I had been hungry all the years", she reflects her acceptance of her own condition of not belonging. Through use of mercantile language, gastronomic metaphor and deromantisied language she reflects her own rejection of belonging. Michel Fabers short story "Serious swimmers" uses juxtaposition, sensual imagery and distorted reality to reflect the main characters struggles with chemical addictions, and search for belonging.  

The inability to sacrifice ones values for the sake of belonging is shown in both texts. In "I had been hungry all the years" Dickinson previous desire for belonging, is studied later in life, and she comes to the revelation that what she thought she desired was in fact spiritually hollow, and that she had made the right choice in not compromising her own values for belonging. In 19th century, puritan Amherst, Emily Dickinson's life was strongly influenced by religion. The community was strongly focused on Christianity, and most of the social events revolved around these beliefs. Dickinson   chose to reject this communities beliefs, when although she wanted to belong, she could not sacrifice her own beliefs to do so. "I had been hungry all the years. My noon had come to dine." Even in the first stanza she is using past tense, revealing how she no longer feels such a desire for this mysterious food. Throughout the poem she uses a gastronomic metaphor, representing religion, and the community that came with it. The "ample bread." and "the crumb" are direct examples of this food imagery. "nor was I hungry,", the last stanza is the reflection of her desire and the revelation that she was better of without. Where...