Independent Thought In Emily Dickinson's Literature

Better Essays
Independent thought is described as the ability to make one’s own decisions, to decide on one’s own choices, and to complete one’s own desires. Often in the modern world, the ability is taken for granted, with many people exercising it every moment of the day. However, for people living in the 1800’s, individual experience does not exist for everyone, especially for women and children. Many authors attempt to tackle the lack of independent society, with none being greater than Emily Dickinson, Henry James, and Kate Chopin. In Emily Dickinson’s “In Much Madness is Divinest Sense” and “This was a Poet”, Henry James’s Daisy Miller: A Study, and Kate Chopin’s “A Story of an Hour”, all the authors depict independent thought as a positive trait.
In her poems “Much Madness is Divinest Sense” and “This was a Poet”, Emily Dickinson expresses her strong conviction in the concept of self-reliance. The first poem, “Much
…show more content…
Dickinson writes, “It is That / Distills amazing sense / From Ordinary Meanings” (Dickenson, “This was a Poet” 2-4), which can be interpreted as Dickinson thoroughly believing that poets experience the world differently than the rest of the public. When compared to everyone else, poets appreciate beauty in every matter of life, whether it is small and insignificant or grand and extravagant. To Dickinson, ordinary people only encounter the world on the basic level, attributing the rest of its mysteries to religion and faith. A poet, however, takes the time to critically observe one’s surroundings, slowly discovering the truth behind some of life’s greatest emotions and secrecies. Therefore, poets are the embodiment of independent thought, as their ability to analytically perceive the world is powered via individualistic sensation. Their representations of the world are influenced by no other person or

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    This allows readers to fully understand her fiery personality, and relate to what drove her to create and to pursue her dream of becoming famous through her poetry. One of the points that Mr. Wilbur made was that Miss Dickinson, “was deprived of literary recognition.” To further this statement he also explained, “The truth is, I think, that Emily Dickinson knew she was good, and began her career with a normal appetite for recognition.” We see this ambition in Dickinson’s poem, “Success is counted sweetest.” The beginning lines are as follows: “success is counted sweetest- By those who ne’er succeed.” This poem leaves its reader with the sting of bitter resentment toward the paradox of one’s own mind set. She describes the disappointing feeling of losing the drive to reach a goal that you have already achieved. Perhaps she is trying to reason with herself that if she had become a successful author, then she would not appreciate being successful. Mr. Wilbur also believed that, “she seems to have found her life, in great part, a history of loneliness, separation, and bereavement.” This means that while she was ambitious and driven, her illness prevented her from achieving many of her goals, and her poetry often covertly conveys this…

    • 1052 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Human beings constantly strive for comfort, whether that comes in the form of money, love, groups of people, temperature or a certain place. And while stepping outside of your comfort zone is important and necessary in life, sometimes you need to be in your own safe space to be able to relax, open up and be productive. Although Emily Dickinson actively removed herself from society and didn’t travel to gain inspiration like other authors, she did spend time immersing her mind in her subject matter, life. Because of this, her poetry expresses potent emotional ideas and truths of the heart and soul that can touch everyone. As a separate mind and body from society, Emily saw the world through windows and paper.…

    • 1098 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Porphyria's Lover Analysis

    • 1155 Words
    • 5 Pages

    A dramatic monologue is a “poem whose speaker addresses one or more silent listeners, often revealing much more than he or she intends.”(Kirszner, pg. 663). The poems dramatic monologue holds numerous devises used in literature such as, syntax and diction. In regards to syntax and diction, both are beneficial to the theme as the devices give the form and meaning that hints towards the theme of obsession. Browning’s arrangement of syntax in the dramatic monologue helps the poem develop an obsessive casual tone, such as in lines thirty-six through thirty-eight “That moment she was mine, mine, fair, / Perfectly pure and good: I found / A thing to do, all her hair”, (Kirszner, pg.…

    • 1155 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It was said to capture “the essence of womanhood and at the same time describes the many talents of the poet herself” (Neubauer). The poem is based around women empowerment and feminism, which were topics that needed to be advocated during the mid-1900s, and even now. She expresses her ideas about them throughout the poem. In it, she states, “It’s the fire in my eyes, and the flash of my teeth; the swing in my hips, and joy in my feet. I am a woman, phenomenally” (Poetry Foundations).…

    • 772 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Beauty is relative; as to some, it becomes unmeaning and useless. And to others it is meaningful and important. As one says, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder - which is why everyone has to decide for themselves what beauty really is. It can be so different for anybody, as the small garden can mean so much to you, but completely nothing to someone else. In the novel Ender’s Game, the author Orson Scott Card interprets beauty differently than most of us do, as there is a myriad of beauty in compassion, beauty between Ender and Valentine, beauty between war and the games.…

    • 813 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In “She Walks in Beauty” it can be seen throughout the poem the great detail and imagery pertaining to the woman’s beauty from the author’s admiration. For example, the first and second stanza greatly emphasizes the woman’s beauty by comparing it to day and night. The author balances the two as he expressed in the second stanza, “One shade more, one shade less, had half impaired the nameless grace” hencing that the balance is so perfect that if one added one more “shade” or took away a single “ray” of light, it would mess everything up. In addition, fiddling with that balance at all would “half impair”, or partially damage the woman’s beauty. Since the author emphasizes “light” and “dark” within the woman, it symbolizes the physical attributes of the beauty whether internally or externally.…

    • 1208 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The novel falls in the category of romantic and sentimental novels. In the first three chapters of the novel, the mastery of Jane Austen ensures that every situation and incident of the story contains subtle satire and irony. The author employs a transparent style and reveals the personalities of the characters through the use of direct speech. In the first three chapters, Jane Austen maintains an adequate distinction between the narrative and conversational tone of the novel. She illustrates unique artistic quality and presents her characters truthfully.…

    • 1181 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    A rebel, pioneer, recluse, and one of the founders of an idea that would sweep the world. No, it is not Obi-Wan Kenobi, but Emily Dickinson. Emily Dickinson is one of the most influential writers of the industrial era, as she was one of the first writers to use the concept of transcendentalism in her works. This means writing about all aspects of life, even the mundane, the vulgar, and the ugly as she realized that this style of writing more closely resembles life than the classic, formal style of writing used previously. Many of Emily Dickson’s poems revolve around similar themes: love, strength, individuality, but most importantly, death.…

    • 598 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the world of writing, it goes without saying that certain writers pave the way for others in terms of their success and because of this, influence those that come after based on the movements they create and the stylistic choices they either make or break. Especially when it comes to modern poetry and its evolution, there are always those who are influenced positively and negatively by others in the community – no matter how many generations apart they may be. Having said that, the influence of T.S. Eliot on Allen Ginsberg’s work resulted in a beneficial, but not quite happy influence, due to Ginsberg’s stand of anti-elitist writing (and therefore anti-Eliot). Ginsberg’s anti-elitist position allowed for him to revolutionize his work when compared to that of someone like Eliot, by way of challenging everything Eliot did in his writing.…

    • 1330 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    For “The Raven,” he decides his tone based on the effect chosen—Beauty. He said, “Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears. Melancholy is thus the most legitimate of all the poetical tones.” It is interesting to note that Beauty and Melancholy are very different from each other, as Beauty is often considered a positive trait while Melancholy is often considered a negative emotion. When this essay explores what Poe’s desired tone for his short stories, it will look to find it in sharp contrast with the effect that he did similarly when composing “The Raven.” The tone will also need to serve the dénouement—that is also served by the effect—as everything is meant to serve it, so knowing the dénouement allows one to see if the effect and tone found is Poe’s intended effect and tone by checking to see if they both support the…

    • 1232 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays