Perceptions of Belonging Essay

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Perceptions of belonging and not belonging can be influenced by connections to places, this can be seen throughout Emily Dickinson’s work, in specific reference to the poem’s ‘What mystery pervades a well’ and ‘A narrow fellow in the grass’. The idea that perceptions of belonging and not belonging are explored in the text ‘what mystery pervades a well’ through the exploration of the mysteries of nature and the paradoxical state of humanity seeking control or an understanding but that goal ultimately being impossible. Similarly in ‘A narrow fellow n the grass’ such perceptions are conveyed through the exploration that the persona is fascinated by the natural world but at the same time feels a sense of alienation from it. Nature in this case is the ‘place’ in which the persona perceptions towards belonging are related to. In ‘What mystery pervades a well’ the connection to nature influences the persona’s perception of belonging as they contrast the intrinsic human need to belong to nature but the inability for this to occur due to the depth and infinity of nature. Dickinson explores this idea through the paradox that the more one attempts to understand nature the more separated and alienated the individual becomes, therefore affecting their perceptions of belonging and the difficulty in which it takes in order for one to belong to such a thing as nature. The title in itself, the diction of the word ‘mystery’ suggests that nature is unknown but also that people are fascinated by it and are eager to learn more. The intrinsic need to discover more and the curiosity of humans can also be seen through the eagerness shown by the exclamation. ‘Residing in a jar’ shows the attempt of the individual to control nature in order to scrutinize it and therefore gain knowledge, ultimately leading to a sense of belonging. However despite the attempt to understand nature its
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