Emily Dickinson is one of the most famous American poets. She wrote many poems throughout her lifetime, but it was not until after her death that she became famous. She wrote about death and life, love and separation, and God. She wrote about topics like these because she was inspired by the experiences in her life. Throughout her life, she dealt with problems that caused her to seclude herself, wear only a while dress, and write poems. Many have questioned what caused her seclusion? What happened that was so devastating to make her want to be alone all the time? Why did she always wear white?
There have been many explanations as to why Emily Dickinson secluded herself. It has been said she chose seclusion because of the pressure and persistence of others wanting her to confess her salvation. She felt no salvation, which led her to feel isolated. She could have chosen seclusion during the decision to convert from Puritanism to Transcendentalism, which rejected the strict Puritan religious attitudes. Despite being true to her own convictions, she was left with a sense of exclusion from the established religion. Much of this idea is portrayed in her poetry.
There are many references to “being shut out of heaven” in many of her poems. She became increasingly reclusive in her thirties until finally she almost never left her house (academic. brooklyn. cuny. edu). Emily Dickinson was a very creative poet, but what led her to her dark, depressing themes? It has been said that when Emily chose seclusion, all she did was write poems. Therefore, her seclusion caused her to be so creative. Dickinson felt free from women’s duties and had enough space to write in her room. This could be why she excelled in writing poems.
During her time as a normal student, she met a few very influential men, Reverend Charles Wadsworth and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. They had a huge effect on her life, as well as her poems. She met others, Samuel Bowles and J. G. Holland, who were less influential, but still very close to Dickinson. The civil war caused serious emotional turmoil to show throughout most of her poems. During this time, the urgency for her poems increased dramatically and she produced about eight hundred poems. She spent most of this time in mourning because of the deaths and illnesses of her nfluential friends and close relatives. Her father died first, then her friend Samuel Bowles. J. G. Holland died a few years later. The next to die was her nephew, whom she was very close to. Both her mother and Charles Wadsworth died in the same year, shortly after the death of her nephew. The death of her close friends was a significant part of Dickinson’s life. These inevitably heightened her interest, fascination, and perhaps fear of death (www. biographyonline. net). Moreover, this was probably the greatest cause of her dark, death-themed poetry.
Emily Dickinson had only one love throughout her entire life. Her father’s close friend, Judge Otis Phillips Lord, and Emily Dickinson developed a relationship after the death of Elizabeth Lord. He and his wife were familiar guests in the Dickinson household when Emily was younger. Some of Dickinson’s poems contemplated marrying Lord. The idea of moving back to Salem, Massachusetts to Lord’s home was never agreed upon, due to Lord’s death. After his death, Emily Dickinson felt so alone and depressed that it caused her illness: consequently, Dickinson died two years later.
During these two years of pain and illness, Dickinson’s writings became deeper in how they described how she felt. She often wrote about death and separation; however, she produced fewer poems. It has been said that this was the cause of the death and sorrow themed poems. In addition to writing poems, wearing white was a huge part of Dickinson’s life. After her decision to become a recluse, she wore nothing but a white dress. The reason behind this was that when she reached her early twenties, she refused to grow up because she still felt like a kid inside.
She wore white because she wanted to feel like a pure child. It was also an attempt to practice religious purity. Because of the death of her father, she was, in a sense, afraid of death. She felt that if she wore white, then she would be able to escape death in the most purified way. It is also commonly thought that Emily Dickinson wore white because she was never married and was mocking the idea of marriage by wearing a white dress, resembling a wedding dress. Being one of the most appreciated poets of her time, Emily Dickinson moved so many with the intensity of her poems.
She often wrote about death and life, love and separation, and God. Many of her poems were based on the experiences and instances in her life. These experiences often caused her more depression than happiness, which caused her to be in touch with her deep intellectual side, making her such an exceptional poet. Emily Dickinson portrayed symbolism in her poems by choosing seclusion and wearing a white dress. Her choice of seclusion and wardrobe has been questioned since her death. Some say she was heartbroken, others say she was pressured. It could be because of something far deeper than anyone will ever understand.