Adversity In Emily Dickinson's Poetry

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“Success is counted sweetest by those who never succeed.” This statement by Emily Dickinson expresses that you will never truly understand the meaning of success unless you have undergone failure. Emily Dickinson faced adversity throughout her fifty-five years of living as she experiences several losses. Because of this, the main theme in her poems is death as they are filled with constant bereavement however the themes of love, religion and nature are also present.
On December 10, 1830, Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, and deceased on May 15, 1886. She is the daughter of Edward Dickinson, an attorney who died on June 16, 1874, in Boston, and Emily Norcross, who kept her last name; she died in 1882. Emily once …show more content…

At the beginning of her school year, Dickinson stood out from everyone as she was distinguished as an original thinker who, in her brother’s words, dazzled her teachers: “Her compositions were unlike anything ever heard- and always produced sensation-both with the scholars and teachers-her imagination sparkled- and she gave it free rein (Modern American Poetry 1). Her great interest in poetry and English literature is shown throughout her late teens as she read famous authors. Moreover, whilst attending Amherst Academy, Dickinson was a “serious student with a mischievous streak” (Literature California Treasures 437). However, her family held a strong Christian faith, pressuring her to be an outspoken and committed Christian. Despite her veneration for the Bible, she refused to be what they wanted her to be. Dickinson was her own distinctive individual, with a mind of her own. She believed that people were sinful and most humans were going to hell as she could never accept the ‘doctrine of original sin’ (Modern American Poetry 1). For Dickinson, ‘God, is alienated from His creation’ (Knapp 127). …show more content…

Dickinson was known as an outsider or recluse as she occasionally stayed in her room instead of meeting with close friends. She even ran away when visitors visited. It was awfully bad that she communicated with friends behind a somewhat open door (Emily Dickinson 2). In addition to that, relations between her and her father became distant. “I am not very well acquainted with father,” she once remarked. Nevertheless she maintained toward his morose man an attitude of teasing affection. “He buys me many books- but begs me not to read them- because he fears they joggle the mind.” Her father was regarded as a tyrannical Puritan who controlled his daughter’s life and lightened it (Benfey 27). Moreover, in her late twenties or early thirties, Dickinson had a very shattering and emotional experience as she faced many disappointments relating to love; because of this she spent a great deal of time alone in her Amherst home. Furthermore, in 1854, Dickinson met with Reverend Charles Wadsworth in Philadelphia, and he could have possibly been the “inspiration for some of her love poems” (Emily Dickinson Biography). Nevertheless, there is confirmation that she was in love with a man named Otis Phillips Lord. Being a graduate of Amherst College, Otis Lord studied Law and was admitted to the bar in 1835. Emily was twenty-six when she met him, however, he was married.

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