Emily Dickinson Analysis

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The Divide of Generational Standards
Society’s standards continually change. While many individuals decide to follow and enforce society’s constraints and moral codes, some chose their own lifestyles and are criticised and isolated by society. Although both men and women face distinctly different expectations from society, some expectations such as demeanor in courtship and roles in a household in the nineteenth century were particularly restrictive to women. If a woman chose to act in a manner that did not fit the norms, they would face ridicule from others. People disprove of those who are different because they pose potential threat to one’s beliefs. In their nineteenth century literary works, writers Emily Dickenson, Kate Chopin, Henry
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Pontellier due to her aspiration to become something other than a married woman with the care of children and the house as her undertaking. She utilizes dashes in all of her writing, but they become most prominent in her letters Thomas Wentworth Higginson, her publisher. There are many theories on why she uses them including slowing down her narrative for emphasis on specific phrases, but the dashes’ placement is in a pattern that could point to her views on the women of her era. In these letters, the dashes most often appear after words or phrases such as “gratitude,” “no verse...but one or two,” and “sir” to showcase the expectation of women to be of a timid nature and having “no education” (Dickinson 110). In some of her other works her overtness to “reject conventional gender roles” is apparent, but her addition of breaking the rhyme patterns in her writing show her rejection of even literary confinements (Dickinson 90). While the use of broken patterns of rhyme and dashes show discourse, they also bring forth the idea Dickinson did not approve of society concealing discourse in daily life. The literary works of a woman were not held to the same level of merit or given a chance to become influential in the way men’s writing was; Dickinson knew her abilities as a poet, but only a small amount of her poems were published in her lifetime (Dickinson 91). Despite Dickinson’s lack of ability to publish much of her work due to her …show more content…
An inability or refusal to conform to the standards for a young unmarried woman results in scrutiny and disdain from members of the community, but a married woman would face familial shame as Chopin suggests. In his novella Daisy Miller: A Study, Henry James focuses his attention on gender roles and he seeks to educate his readers on how much one’s gender can affect how others perceive them. Individuals choose to avoid questioning their beliefs due to the changes questions could cause. The norms for women in the nineteenth century seems strange in retrospect looking from the future, but only due to the massive changes that have occurred. Chopin points out the internal issues women experienced due to the suppression of ambition beyond the role of a wife society encouraged. Mrs. Pontellier displayed many signs of discontentment with her marriage and also the daily jobs required of her. The idealized nineteenth century woman is described as those who were “easy to know,” who “idolized their children,” who “worshipped their husbands,” and who were religious and “holy” (Chopin 554). Chopin shows how this mentality of being inferior causes self doubt and a mentality of servitude. Madame Ratignolle is a character meant to contrast Mrs. Pontellier in that her behavior fits all of society’s standards. However, Madame Ratignolle does not

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