Perspectives on Freedom in Poetry by Emily Dickinson and Harriet Jabos

1472 Words 6 Pages
Nothing in life is guaranteed, but the one thing that humans demand is freedom. Throughout history, there are countless cases where groups of people fought for their freedom. They fought their battles in strongly heated debates, protests, and at its worst, war. Under the assumption that the oppressors live in complete power, the oppressed continuously try to escape from their oppressors in order to claim what is rightfully theirs: the freedom of choice. In Emily Dickinson’s poems #280, #435, and #732 and Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, freedom is represented by an individual’s ability to make their own decisions without the guidance, consultation, or outside opinion of others in order to find their true sense of …show more content…
This shows that she has decided not to be free, but at the same time be at peace with the rest of her community by basically becoming a puppet.
In Dickinson’s poem #435, “Much Madness is divinest Sense –“, she points out that “Sense” is defined by the majority and not by reason: “’Tis the Majority/ In this, as All, prevail”. So, “Assent[ing]” with the majority, means that you are sane to the public eye. However, if you oppose the majority, or even hesitate a bit you are judged as insane and dangerous: “Demur – you’re straightway dangerous”. Dickinson also points out that if one does not agree with the Majority, they will lose their freedom: “And handled with a Chain –“. This poem is a defense of her isolation from society and her commitment to writing poems. Since Dickinson chose a different path, the community labeled her as insane and dangerous. In her view, she did not lose her freedom; instead she freed herself from the chains of social expectations. Dickinson believes that her way of living is the “divinest Sense” because her poems are a form of claiming her individual liberty; her nonconformity in thought is her freedom. Her declaration to live the way she wants to no matter what proves that she is spiritually free and found her true self as a passionate poet.
In Dickinson’s poem #732, “She rose to His Requirement – dropt”, she examines the traditional successful marriage of

Related Documents