Analysis Of This World Is Not Inclusion By Emily Dickinson

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Emily Dickinson’s relationship with her faith is epitomized in her, “This World is not Conclusion”. In order to convey her complicated religious affiliation, Dickinson created three sections in her poem. Each section details a stage in her transformation from pious to agnostic. Dickinson uses both, subliminal poetic mechanics – such as punctuation and structure – and obvious literary techniques – such as personification and rhyme schemes – to fully describe this transformation in only twenty lines.
Dickinson’s use of rhythm through number of syllables separates “This World is not Conclusion” into three distinct parts. The poem alternates syllables in an “ABAB” pattern, with line “A” having seven syllables and line “B” having six. This pattern
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There are three parts of the Holy Trinity – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Jesus was resurrected on the third day, and most relevant to this poem, Jesus asks Peter if he loves him three times, and Peter denies Jesus three times. Dickinson affirmed and denied her faith throughout her life, and the use of threes shows she feels akin to Peter. Sometimes she felt like the Peter that denied Jesus, while other times she felt like the Peter who showed love for him. While the number three likens Dickinson to Peter, the break in the pattern shows the reader the current section has ended.
The First section of “This World is not Conclusion” shows absolute certainty in religion and the afterlife. Dickinson’s opening line shows the most confidence in her faith throughout the whole poem, it reads, “This World is not Conclusion.” (Dickinson 1204). This is the only place in the poem where Dickinson transcribes a period; she uses dashes or simply leaves the lines as fragments in the rest of the poem. Dashes and fragments can indicate she is unsure, that she is thinking, or searching for the truth. A period cannot be conveyed this way. A period is definitive; it shows finality. It tells the reader she needs no further
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In this section she explains how even the world’s brightest minds are puzzled when asked to prove heavens existence. There is no proof for a scholar to point to, no evidence to examine, yet people continue to believe. Everyone wants to gain access to heaven, and Dickinson writes that to gain it, “Men have borne / Contempt of Generations / And Crucifixion, shown -” (Dickinson 1204). This shows Dickinson’s dissatisfaction with the Calvinist Orthodoxy she was brought up in. Calvinism teaches that human beings have been born with sin and moral corruption since Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. It is impossible to gain favor from god, or be redeemed for their sins. God will condemn all for their contempt, except for a select few that he chooses to save for his own purposes. Dickinson questions this ideology in the poem, something she has been doing since she attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary – a boarding school that focused on developing its students religiously. Students were often questioned whether they “professed faith,” had “hope,” or were resigned to “no hope”. Dickinson remained in the “no hope” group throughout her tenure at the boarding school. There must have been many times at Mount Holyoke where she suggested that we were not all damned from birth, or that there was actually no heaven. Like in the poem, these

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