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Emily Dickinson

  • Date Submitted: 01/27/2010 11:17 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 34.2 
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In her lifetime Emily Dickinson wrote over 1,775 poems, none of which were published while she was still alive. Dickinson’s writing styles and formats reflected several movements of her era including the revival of Puritanism, feminism, Transcendentalism, and Romanticism. These movements influenced the lifestyle and writing of Emily Dickinson.

Emily Dickinson has shaped much of feminist criticism. Throughout the growth of feminist criticism Dickinson is still the focal point. Dickinson’s poetry also shows evidence of a feminist humor. Feminist studies of Dickinson include her relationships as well as alleged relationships in regards to her sexuality, her humor in a satirical sense when looking at the women of her time, as well as even challenging the idea of Dickinson as an eccentric recluse. Even with humor evident in her poetry feminists do not debate the fact that elements of tragedy also influence her poetry.

Elements of tragedy seen in Dickinson’s poetry, especially of death and the emphasis of human mortality, are derivative from another movement of her time. American Romanticism included themes of nature as well as death mortality in what is referred to as “Dark Romanticism.”

Dickinson’s Puritan heritage was another influence that affected her lifestyle from an early age. Dickinson uses such devices as sacramental imagery from her childhood religion. Dickinson was born into a prominent and staunchly religious family and rebelled against her upbringing in religion and social prominence in her later years. Her reclusiveness as well as her apparent Transcendentalist views was a result of Dickinson and her father’s differing opinions about life, mankind, and the world they lived in.

Some critics believe that in rebellion against her staunch Puritan heritage and upbringing Emily Dickinson became more of a transcendentalist. Many ties have been made between romanticism and transcendentalism and many of Dickinson’s contemporaries...


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