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Emily Dickinson's Living Death

Powerful Essays
Emily Dickinson was born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts to a governing father and an almost non-existent mother. Her father was a lawyer, a legislator and a rigorous Calvinist. Although her father had strong faith in God, Dickinson declined to pronounce herself as a believing Christian in her late teens. In her younger years Dickinson considered herself different because she was shy and sensitive (Emily Dickinson’s Life and Work). Dickinson and her younger sister Lavinia started their education at Amherst Academy. Dickinson spent seven years at the academy. After finishing her final term at the Academy in the August 1847, Dickinson began attending South Hadley Seminary for Women, now know as Mount Holyoke College, about ten miles from Amherst. She stayed at the seminary for only ten months. According to The Academy of American Poets article, the explanation for her short duration at the seminary was severe homesickness. Regardless of the specific reason for leaving South Hadley, she was brought back home to Amherst (Poets.org).

Dickinson was troubled from a young age by death, especially the deaths of those who were close to her. When her second cousin and close friend, Sophia Holland, grew ill from typhus and died in 1844, Dickinson was distressed. She became so unhappy that her parents sent her to stay with family in Boston to recover. After recovering, she came back to Amherst to finish her time at the academy (Poets.org). In “I Felt a Funeral in My Brain,” the speaker shows that death is a numbing experience. Death is reflected everywhere in Emily Dickinson’s poetry; she lived shadowed by death; she was a hermit; her home was a casket from which she rarely left; she, as a living death, wrote about her life, a d...

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