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Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10,1830 in the quiet community of Amherst, Massachusetts (Davidson 247). She was the second born to Edward and Emily Norcross Dickinson (Davidson 247). Her older brother Austin and her younger sister Lavina lived in a reserved family headed by their authoritative father (Davidson 247). Emily’s mother was not “emotionally accessible,'; thought out there lives (Davidson 247). Their parents weren’t involved in their children’s lives. One thing that their parents did do was raise there children with the Chistian tradition (Chase 28). They were expected to take up their father’s religious beliefs and values without any argument. Emily though did not fit in with her father’s religion and as she got older challenged these conventional religious viewpoints of her father and his church (Chase 28). Here put more stuff about why she did not except the Puritan God and why because of this you saw it in her writing (on page 12-? In Aiken). Her father was also an influential politician in Massachusetts holding powerful positions (Johnson 26). Due to this her family was very prominent in Amherst. Emily did not enjoy the popularity and excitement of her public life in Amherst. So she began to withdraw from the town, her family and friends (Johnson 29). This private life that she lived gave her, her own private society. She refused to see almost everyone that came to visit and rarely left her father’s house (Johnson 31).
In Emily’s writing changed over the years due to events in her life. Most of her writing was about nature, friends, love and almost a third of her poems dealt with the subject of death (Ferlazzo 22). I’m going to focus my paper on the topic of death. A lot of Dickinson’s life was in morning the deaths of her close friends and family. Her father died in 1974, Samuel Bowles died in 1878, J.G. Holland died in 1881, her nephew Gilbert died in 1883, and both Charles Wadsworth, Emily’s mother died in 1882 (mapes) and Helen Hunt Jackson in 1885 (Chase 305). Over those seven years, many of the most influential and precious friendships of Emily’s passed away. On June 14, 1884 Emily suffered her first attack of her terminal illness, which put her to bed in her family’s house. Then less than two years latter she died at the age of 56 (Chase 310).
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Death and the whole experience of death was going on all throughout her life. From when she was a child and her father made her follow his religion, which in religion there is some kind of belief you follow about death. The seclusion from her family, which made her, have only a few friends making those friends and family members important to her. When some of these people died it effected her greatly and made her think about death more. Also when she started to get sick and realize that she was close to dying. All of these things gave way to the more concentrated obsession of death in her poetry.
Here use page 41-? In “Emily Dickinson'; to talk about her different writings of the subject of death
“I’ve seen a Dying eye'; is a poem about the nature of
I’ve seen a dying Eye
Run round and round a Room-
In search of Something-as it seemed-
Then Cloudier become-
And then-obscure with Fog-
And then-be soldered down
Without disclosing what it be
‘Twere blessed to have seen-
A sense of uncertainty and uncontrollability about death seems to exist. The observer’s speech seems hesitant and unsure of what he or she is seeing. You realize this because of the words used to describe the scene and because of the dashes used. As the eye is looking of something it becomes cloudy. The dying person seems to have no control over the clouds covering his or her eyes, which is frantically looking for something that it can only hope to find before the clouds totally take away his or her vision. Death seems to be an uncontrollable force and seems to sweep over the dying giving them no control of what is happening to them. There is uncertainty that there is anything after death because the poem does not say so. I figured that the eye was searching for evidence of an afterlife, but only the dying person knows what the eye is searching for. As the eye ran around the room the observer sees the eyes journey. The eye is looking frantically for something beyond death. There seems to be a sense of panic in the dying person because they have no control over death.
Then in the end the eye closes and stops searching the room. Without telling the observer what it saw, or if it saw anything. What the eye did see is permanently sealed away from the living world. Since the poem is from an observer’s view and the observer is living he or she can not find out until his or her eyes close (they die). The answer is hidden until then.
The poem “Because I could not stop for Death'; is a representation of the passage from this world of the living to the afterlife.