Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson Analysis - Belonging


  * Shakespeare
  * Romantics: Keats
  * Transcendentalists: Emmerson
  * Epicurus

This is my letter to the world

Thesis statements:
  1. Belonging is an ambivalent, paradoxical and organic state of flux.
  2. The human condition has a need for acceptance and affirmation
  3. Despite the innate need to belong, some choose not to in order to pursue their art
  4. Belonging is not always desirable, as being alone can create transcendence

  * Romantic: Nature is the muse
      * Although Dickinson also feared nature due to theses 3 and 4
  * Transcendentalist: Life can only be valued after experiencing suffering (Emmerson)
  * Reaching out
  * Irony: Reclusive disconnect, but connecting through art
  * Metalyric: comments on her own work
  * Choosing art over life (belonging)

  * “This is my letter to the world”
      * Assertive, defensive, imperative, epistolatory
      * Microcosmic private world, wider public world
      * Prefaces whole suite of poetry, not just this one
  * “That never wrote to me”
      * Demonstrative (That)
      * Absolute negative (never)
      * Left alone by world
  * “Tender majesty.”
      * Oxymoron, masculine/feminine contrast of nature
  * “To hands I cannot see”
      * Prophetic, synecdoche – future generations
  * “Sweet countrymen”
      * Caesar Allusion
      * Sarcasm
      * Ambivalence
  * “Judge tenderly of me”
      * Oxymoron
      * Wide reference: me = poetry

I had been hungry all the years

Thesis statements:
  1. Belonging is not always a desired state or essential for all individuals
  2. Belonging is an innate human desire
  3. Belonging may be a desire and a choice but until both belonging and alienation have been experienced, a true decision cannot be made
  4. Belonging is always in a state of flux/paradox/ambivalence/tension

  * Romantic: No...