From the selections given, I chose to write this essay on Emily Dickinson. I chose three of her poems to discuss in which I felt all three of them were dealing with the subject of death. The three I chose are I heard a fly buzz when I died, Because I could not stop for death, and The Bustle in a House. Before I get into the poems themselves, I would like to discuss Emily Dickinson herself. Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst at the Homestead on December 10, 1830. According to the Emily Dickinson museum, Emily’s younger years were spent attending school, reading, exploring nature, religious activities, and staying involved in friendships (Emily Dickinson's Biography , 2009). She became consumed with writing in her late twenties and early thirties during which she wrote almost eleven hundred poems. She tried to publish some of her work, but chose to mostly share her poems with family and friends. Emily became withdrawn in her later years, staying consumed with nature and her family and friends, as well as some health concerns. Most of Emily’s poetry went unpublished until after her death on May 15, 1886. Family members made the effort to get her poems and life story published after her passing (Emily Dickinson's Biography , 2009). According to Henry W. Wells, about one quarter of Dickinson's poems deals with the theme of death (Wells, 1958). To understand why Dickinson wrote about death, you have to know that in the nineteenth century when she was writing death was ever present in everyone’s lives. Death was brought on by infectious diseases and lack of advanced medicine, and no effective ways of understanding much less treating or preventing their spread. Also, you have to be aware that Emily wrote during the time of the Civil War, and even though it didn't affect her directly, it is still easy to understand how the war could have affected her thoughts on mortality. Emily Dickinson experienced the death of many loved ones. In fact, in her later...
Cited: College, T. o. (2009). Emily Dickinson 's Biography . Retrieved February 3, 2013, from Emily Dickinson Museum: http://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/ed/node/15
Wells, H. W. (1958). Introduction to Emily Dickinson. In H. W. Wells, Introduction to Emily Dickinson (p. 94). Hendricks House.
McNaughton, R. F. (1949). Prairie Schooner. Emily Dickinson on Death , 23, pp. 203-214.
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