Sanity And Rebellion In Emily Dickinson's Much Madness Is Divinest Sense

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The themes taken up in Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Much Madness is Divinest Sense,” are those of sanity, insanity, and rebellion. For instance, many of Dickinson’s poems reflect her own feelings and moods towards the society she lives in. According to critic Joyce Hart, “Dickinson writes that the majority defines the term ‘madness’ and judges it to be wrong. The majority dictates the rules, and those rules demand conformity. To go against the majority means the perpetrator with be punished.” By using a paradox, and the inversion of this paradox, connotation, and denotation, Dickinson is able to show the fact that people who are mad may actually be the people who have any sort of sense and challenges the constructs of the society she lives in. Though short in length, the poem carries a certain gravity that pulls the reader in. The speaker starts with a paradox: “Much Madness is Divinest Sense --“(line 1). The speaker gets to the point and does not use fancy words to describe it all. For example, critic Beth Kattleman states, “The greatest of poets are experts at manipulating word choice and syntax to convey an entire world of images and concepts. Emily Dickinson was among these masters.” She was able to create very influential images by condensing a few ideas into a couple short lines, thus creating some very enigmatic poems. What this line is basically conveying is that the insane people are actually the ones who have life figured out. Those who are mad are seeing the bigger
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