Emily Dickinson: Individuality

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830, to Edward Dickinson, a well-respected lawyer, and his wife Emily Norcross Dickinson, whom she was named after. She lived her whole life in the same house with her sister Lavina including after her parent’s death in her middle years. Her parents had been very traditional, as most people were in those days. Her father, along with the rest of the family, were Christians and she alone decided to rebel against that and reject the Church. She like many of her contemporaries had rejected the traditional views in life and adopted the new transcendental outlook.
Massachusetts, the state where Emily was born and raised, ...

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tone for the era when he said, “Insist on yourself; never imitate” (McMichael 691). Emily Dickinson believed and practiced this philosophy. When she was young, she was brought up by a stern and disciplined father. In her childhood she was shy and already different from the others. Like all the Dickinson children, male or female, Emily was sent for formal education in Amherst Academy. After attending Amherst Academy with many other conscientious thinkers, and after reading many of Emerson’s essays, she began to develop into a free willed person. Many of her friends had converted to Christianity. Her family was also putting an enormous amount of pressure for her to convert. No longer the submissive youngster she would not bend her will on such issues as religion, literature, and personal associations.
She maintained a correspondence with Rev. Charles Wadsworth over a substantial period of time. Even though she rejected the Church as an entity she never did reject or accept ...

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of love in her poems, but she did it in such a way that would make people not want to fall in love. She writes of parting, separation, and loss. This is supported by the experiences she felt with Wadsworth and Otis P. Lord:
Not with a club the heart is broken,
Nor with a stone;
A whip so small you could not see it,
I’ve known (Johnson 272)

This seems to be an actual account of the emotions she experienced during her relationship with Otis Lord. Individuality played a pervasive role in her life as a result of her bout with separation. Emily did not conform to society. She did not believe it was society’s place to dictate to her how she should lead her life. Her poems reflect ...

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Added: 9/23/2004 06:53:40 PM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1301
Pages: 5

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