The Influences of Emily Dickinson

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Information about The Influences of Emily Dickinson

Published on December 6, 2009

Author: ibytautaite


Emily Dickinson What Made Her Write the Way she did By Ieva Bytautaite

What Influenced Emily Dickinson? Growing up in a Puritan society Her isolated life Secret, unrequited love

Growing up in a Puritan Society Emily Dickinson never simply went along with everyone else She questioned the things that were taught to her in Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, especially the teachings about sin an salvation Dickinson considered herself “one of the bad ones” (Untermeyer 580) because of her refusal to simply believe everything taught to her

Growing up in a Puritan Society cont. Many of her poems mention God and religion in a nonconventional way These ideas are presented in a very unusual way, usually causing a raised eyebrow when read by religious mind, especially those during her time

Her Isolated Life The isolation from society helped Emily Dickinson’s style evolve into one that can be recognized by the first verse This isolation “offered the opportunity for her to explore her mind” (Daniels 2) something she found very important She wrote her poems as a way of expressing her deepest feelings, and was not concerned about publishing them

Secret, unrequited love The two men that influenced her poems the most were Benjamin Franklin Newton and Reverend Charles Wadsworth Those of these friendships were strictly platonic Her desire for more intimacy helped her produce some of her most remarkable poems

Secret, unrequited love cont. The death of Benjamin Franklin Newton was greatly reflected in her heartfelt poems Her love for Reverend Charles Wadsworth was never answered and her desire for his love can be seen in her poems

Conclusion All these influences, and many more, combined helped shape Emily Dickinson’s style into something the world had never seen before It is this originality that distinguishes her from the other great poets of the 19th and 20th centuries

Works Cited Untermeyer, Louis. Lives of the Poets. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1959. Daniels, Patsy J. "The Gap in Emily Dickinson’s Consciousness: Buddhism in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry. (Cover story)." Jackson State University Researcher 21.3 (2007): 1-31. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 15 Nov. 2009.

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