Analysis Of Emily Dickinson 's ' I Am A Loaded Gun ' Essay

Analysis Of Emily Dickinson 's ' I Am A Loaded Gun ' Essay

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When examining the works and life of Emily Dickinson it is important to apply feminist theory. Her two works “I’m wife—I’ve finished that” and “My life had stood—a loaded gun” are easily viewed under this theory. These two poems will be critically examined to reveal the nature of her culture in the distant past. The feminist theory aims to view literature from the nature of gender inequality. In order to understand these works and life in her day, the reader must first look at the average lifestyle of a woman in the 1800s and then Emily Dickinson’s life.
In the 1800s, women had many constraints placed on them by society. An ideal woman was meek, obedient, and above all subservient to men. However, some of these norms had begun to change by the time Emily Dickinson was born. The United States of America was undergoing an industrial revolution that freed women up from previous duties to pursue other interests. Before this revolution, most of America had an agriculturally based economy. However, the industrial revolution freed women up from weaving and spinning. Numerous women’s organizations began to emerge and schools made for women also began to become more prominent. Keith E. Melder stated, "Female associations . . . ran charity schools, and refuges for women in need” (15). It was into this repressed yet changing world that Emily Dickinson was born.
Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts. Emily was born to a prominent family that was very involved with in the community. Her father was a politician. He was even a US congressman for a term. Even though her family was outgoing, she spent most of her life in self-isolation. She was an extremely introverted person who was often considered an eccentr...


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...do anything. She is merely used as a tool. We see a women exploding with violent thoughts, yet one who still knows she is still a slave biding her master’s wishes. It is these two poems that really put women’s suffrage in the 1800s in focus. This was a time where women were just wanting to be acknowledged yet scared to show off what they can really do. Yet, it was this world ruled by men like her father that made Emily Dickinson’s poetry what it is today. Without that, she might have published her poetry sooner and allowed society to judge her on it affecting her whole life’s work. Also, bear in mind while this world seems distant and hard to believe in places around the world society is still run much like New England in the 1850s if not worse. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Indonesia are places where women’s potential sit waiting to explode like a gun.

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