Emily Dickinson's God

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Emily Dickinson's God

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God, to Emily Dickinson, is seen in more than a church or a cathedral.

God is seen in her poems in relationship to such themes as nature and

the individual existence. These thematic ties are seen in such poems

as "It might be lonelier," and "Some keep the Sabbath going to


"Some keep the Sabbath going to Church" consists of the differences

that exist between Dickinson's way of being close to God and many

other people's ways of being close to God. While some may go to church

every Sunday in honor of the Sabbath, Dickinson stays home and

reflects. "A bobolink" is her "Chorister" and instead of a clergyman

preaching, "God preaches" (Hillman 36). Dickinson believes she can

find God on her own, without the assistance of a preacher or such.

Nature, to Dickinson, is the equivalent of a chapel, its congregation,

its clergyman, and its choir. Rica Brenner, a critic, wrote that she

believed, "Nature, for Emily Dickinson, was the means for the

enjoyment of the senses," (Brenner 288). Dickinson finds God, in the

fullest sense, in nature. She does not feel as if a church would

really convey the full affect of God, at least not to her. "The Sunday

God of New England Orthodoxy, distant, awful, cruelly stern, was not

for her," (Brenner 274).

Dickinson, though she progressively conveys a disdain for the church

and its idea of God in her poems, cares for people and nature. She

values them above most other things and sees God in them. It can even

be said that she rejects the church in the name of God, nature, and

the human race, in addition to doing it in the name of her own sanity.


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...d, his life

was rare, and his paradise held infinite beauties for those who

achieved it. On the other hand, he could be made of flint," (Farr 67).

This implies that Dickinson believed in God, just in case there really

was a heaven. True, she most likely wouldn't have sacrificed if she

didn't think she was going to go to heaven, but she believed in God,

and he was not in her own image. If she did create God in her own

image, she would have understood better what she believed about him.

Instead, she was always wrestling with the quest for who God was and

if he even existed at all.

The question as to what Dickinson's view of God is never definitively

answered in her poetry. As the reader discovers what Dickinson

believes about God, the speaker discovers as well. God remains a

mystery in the poems of Emily Dickinson.

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