- Term Papers and Free Essays

Emily Dickinson

Essay by   •  December 1, 2010  •  1,020 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,718 Views

Essay Preview: Emily Dickinson

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5


There are several important and interesting authors in the American Literature history to talk about in this paper. However, Emily Elizabeth Dickinson is one of the most fascinating authors that generates admiration by reading her life and poems. Even tough her poems were not completed and written on scraps of paper, she is considered one of the great geniuses of nineteenth-century American poetry. The main reason of this reputation is based on the fact that her poems are innovative. Her poetry is different because she uses different literacy aspects from her contemporary writers. Aspects such as her family, friends, social issues, love, death, education and, in general, her personality had a tremendous impact in her writing. Eventually, these aspects were visualized when her poetry was published, and editors took it upon themselves to group them into categories of Friends, Nature, Love and Death.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830 in the quiet community of Amherst, Massachusetts. Emily Dickinson was raised in a quiet, reserved family. Her father was a very authoritative person and her mother was not emotionally accessible. Her parent's personality was probably the main reason of Emily's eccentricity. Emily was raised in the Christian tradition, and she was expected to take up their father's religious beliefs and values without argument.

However, later, her poems illustrate how Emily challenges these conventional religious points of view of her father and the church, and how this new perspective contributes in the way and strength of her poetry.

Knowing that her family was well known in the area for its educational and political activity and before Emily started writing poetry, it is important to emphasize that Emily was a proper educated individual. She attended the Amherst Academy. After her time at the Academy, Emily left for the South Hadley Female Seminary but severe homesickness led her to return home after one year. This was basically the beginning of Dickinson's life of solitude. This solitude could lead her to focus on her world and to start writing her first conventional style poems. Some years later, she started building her particular style in which she introduces different literacy characteristics to her poems making her a unique writer.

Dickinson's works have had considerable influence on contemporary and modern poetry. She used certain characteristics that made her style unique. Sporadic capitalization, dashes, unconventional metaphors, off-rhymes and broken meter are some of the most frequent aspects Dickinson used. These aspects have contributed her reputation as one of the most innovative poets of 19th century American literature. But, these characteristics are not used by coincidence. These unconventional aspects have a reason and purpose. For instance, most of her poems have several capitalizations in so many words.


After great pain, a formal feeling comes-

The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs-

The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,

And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

From this short piece of Emily's poem, it can be visualized how she made sporadic capitalization of nouns. According to some editors, this could be explained by two reasons. First, German, a language Dickinson Knew, typically capitalizes nouns. And second, editors believe that by capitalizing words, Dickinson wanted to give an additional emphasis and meaning to the words. In addition, it can be seeing from the poem how she uses the dashes. Even though it was not usual in contemporary writers to use dashes, Dickinson adopted it as an instrument to indicate interruption or abrupt shift in thought, to keep a note of uncertainty or undesirability, and in a certain way to substitute the colon when introducing a list, series, or final appositive.

As many writers, Dickinson was very influenced by the outside environment in



Download as:   txt (6.4 Kb)   pdf (94.2 Kb)   docx (11.3 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 12). Emily Dickinson. Retrieved 12, 2010, from

"Emily Dickinson" 12 2010. 2010. 12 2010 <>.

"Emily Dickinson.", 12 2010. Web. 12 2010. <>.

"Emily Dickinson." 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010.