Emily Dickinson And Belonging Essay

625 WordsNov 10, 20103 Pages
Belonging is a fundamental aspect of human nature. To what extent does Emily Dickinson portray this in her poems? For all individuals, the sense of belonging shapes our behaviors and attitudes, ultimately affecting our emotional wellbeing. Hence, this basic sense is described as intrinsic, and genetically dictated. American poet Emily Dickinson portrays her perception of belonging in her texts, through the thorough use of literary devices. From studying her work, we can gather and conclude that the sense of belonging is in fact, a fundamental aspect of human nature. It is in our nature to seek for a sense of belonging, as it is the sense of belonging that bridges the gulf between isolation and intimacy in all human relations. Emily Dickinson’s poetry reveals that she felt a sense of isolation, due to the fact that she didn’t belong in society. In the opening lines, “This is my letter to the world/that never wrote to me” of her poem “This is my letter to the world”, she expresses her view on her place in society. It is implied in these lines that Emily felt a sense of isolation and rejection, and is begging for acceptance, though she knows she will never be. This concept can also be seen in her poem, “I died for beauty, but was scarce”. The first line of the last stanza of the poem, “And so, as kinsmen met a night” suggests that she had accepted her place in society- that she was not a part of the ‘kinsmen’, her metaphor for the norm. A basic need of humans is the need to relate with other individuals, and the sense of isolation is caused by the failure of such a need to be met. For individuals who feel a sense of isolation, they hold a strong desire to find or retain their sense of belonging. In “This is my letter to the world”, Emily’s desire to belong is evident. The closing lines “For love of her, sweet countrymen/Judge tenderly of me” displays Emily’s

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