Essay on Emily Dickinson

Essay on Emily Dickinson

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Emily Dickinson


Emily Dickinson was America's best-known female poet and one of the foremost authors in American literature. She was born in1830 in Amherst Massachusetts and died in her hometown in1886, at the age of 56, due to illness. Emily was the middle child of three children. Her father, Edward Dickinson, was a prominent lawyer and one-term United States congressional representative. Her mother, Emily Norcross Dickinson, was a housewife. From 1840 to 1847 Emily attended the Amherst Academy, and from 1847 to 1848 she studied at the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, a few miles from Amherst. During her lifetime, she published only about 10 of her nearly 2000 poems, in newspapers, Civil War journals, and a poetry anthology. Most people believed that Dickinson was an extreme recluse, but this is not entirely true. Although it is true that Emily never married and became very selective about the company she kept. Emily was far more sociable than most descriptions would have readers believe. She frequently entertained guests at her home and the home of her brother and sister-in-law during her 20's and 30's. Also, Dickinson kept up a huge correspondence with friends and family. Only recently are biographers beginning to recognize the role of Emily's sister-in-law, Susan Dickinson, in Emily's writing. They lived next door to each other for over 35 years, sharing mutual passions for literature, music, cooking, and gardening. It is rumored that Emily and Susan where secretly lovers. Emily sent Susan more than 400 poems and letters, twice as many as she sent to any other correspondent. Susan also is the only person at whose request Emily would actually change one of her poems. Evidence has also surfaced that Susan par...


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... being under the control of her husband. Fully aware of her prospects if she were to chose the alternative, she resigns herself to her decision as she states, "And I choose, just a Crown." (19) Although this poem runs only nineteen lines, Emily has successfully and eloquently revealed the sadness women endure from having to resign themselves to the fact they have only one true option in life once maturity is attained, marriage. I may be assuming too much but I believe this poem is in essence Emily's way of expressing her views towards the issue of marriage in her own life. Emily was celibate her entire life and had a very few friends, she may have refused to give in to social pressures and remained a spinster in order to spite the rest of the world. One may reasonably conclude that the speaker in this melancholy poem may have indeed been speaking for Emily herself.

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