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Emily Dickinson

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Claire Pan

on 23 May 2014

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Transcript of Emily Dickinson

Biography
Significant Works
Literary Period
Much of Dickinson's poems had elements of both Romanticism and Transcendentalism.

Claire Pan, Puja Patel, Jahnavi Vyas
Period 12
May 20, 2014

Emily Dickinson
Poem
Summary and Analysis
Literary Criticism
• Considered to be one of the great masterpieces of American poetry
• Written around 1863, the poem was published in Dickinson's first posthumous collection, Poems by Emily Dickinson, in 1890
• Most famous of Dickinson's works concerning death and immortality
• Uses a traditional meter called common meter
• Poem's lines are arranged in iambs in which the first syllable is unstressed and the second syllable is stressed

A Book
A Charm Invests A Face
A Narrow Fellow in the Grass
A Thunderstorm
A wounded deer leaps highest,
Come slowly, Eden!
Death Sets A Thing
Did The Harebell Loose Her Girdle
Heart, we will forget him!
Hope is the Thing with Feathers
I Died for Beauty, but was Scarce
I Felt a Funeral in My Brain
I Went to Heaven
I'm Nobody! Who are You?
I've Known a Heaven Like a Tent
My Life Closed Twice Before it Closed
She Sweeps With Many-Colored Brooms



Snake
Success is Counted Sweetest
Summer Shower
The Bustle in a House
The Mystery of Pain
The Only News I Know
The Pedigree of Honey
There Came a Wind Like a Bugle
There Is A Word
There's a certain slant of light,
There's Been a Death in the Opposite House
This Is My Letter To The World
This Quiet Dust was Gentlemen and Ladies
We Like March
When Roses Cease To Bloom, Dear
Wild Nights! Wild Nights!





• Idea of Immortality is one of the most famous example of personification and figurative language in American literature
• Through the use of beautiful, vivid imagery and rich symbolism, Dickinson presents abstract human concepts of death and the afterlife. (Allen Tate)
•the genius of the poem lies in Dickinson's ability to present a problematic situation without telling the reader how to think about it. (Allen Tate)
Praised for her simple yet perfect diction to showcase the power of
language without distraction. (Allen Tate)
Romanticism
Came about after the Enlightenment and stressed points such as: reason, order, balance, harmony, rationality, and intellect
Stressed imagination as a way to see “spiritual truths” and transcendent experiences
Contains a lot of emotion-based content
.
Often verbose and complex, placing emphasis on artistic elements
Transcendentalism
Transcendentalism is characterized by social and religious protests.
They suggest that people should move away from the conventional thinking styles of society and become self-reliant, inquisitive and rational beings.
It focused on spiritual and individual truths and used nature to help personify individualism and independence.
Religion was a prominent topic of criticism for transcendentalists because they saw it as an outlet for conformity and irrational thought.
Summary
Analysis
This is a line by line analysis of the poem.
Lines 1-5
Death is personified and the narrator, who doesn't always have death on her mind, is reminded of it when it comes to get her.
The young women is preoccupied with Death, only mentioning the third person there, Immortality.
The reason that the carriage may be moving so slow is because it is made to resemble a funeral procession.
Lines 6-12
Most people are too busy to constantly think about Death, however the narrator seems to be so entranced with its presence.
The scenery and descriptions in this section are symbolic of flashes memories one might have on their way to the nonliving world
.
Lines 13-20
The sun is moving and thus time is also passing.
The reference to the gossamer can also refer back to coldness and how one may become cold once one dies.
The terms “A swelling of the ground” can also symbolize the burial site.
Lines 21-24
These lines depict how the narrator has finally seen what no living human has seen, what the other side is like.
She also comes to the realization that there is still an eternity in front of her and thus remembers that immortality is still next to her.
"Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.
We slowly drove – He knew no haste"
"And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –
We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –"
"Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground – "
"Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity – "
Bibliography (Part 1)
"Dickinson, Emily." Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of American Literature. Vol. 1. Detroit:
Gale, 2009. 408-411. Gale Power Search. Web. 8 May 2014. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?
id=GALE%7CCX3008100132&v=2.1&u=jps&it=r&p=GPS&sw=w&asid=b21be5ebe
512a7d92db143cf2f816840>.

"Emily Dickinson." UXL Biographies. Detroit: U*X*L, 2003. Gale Power Search. Web. 8
May 2014.<http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CEJ2108100644&v=2.1&u=j
ps&it=r&p=GPS&sw=w&asid=b5ee1da435e088e0de26eebfbd27ba20>.

"Explanation: Because I Could Not Stop for Death." EXPLORING Poetry. Online ed.
Detroit: Gale, 2003. Discovering Collection. Gale. Infolink / JP Stevens High School.
15 May 2014. <http://find.galegroup.com/srcx/infomark.do?&source=gale&srcprod
=DISC&userGroupName=jps&prodId=DC&tabID=T001&docId=EJ2114707292&type=
retrieve&contentSet=GSRC&version=1.0>.


This poem describes a woman, escorted by “Death” and accompanied by “Immortality”, headed towards her final destination, which is eternity. The woman realizes she must leave behind her mortal life and responsibilities to join Death on a solemn journey.


On the journey, she remembers the different phases of her life, which are coming back to her in vivid memories. The childhood: “We passed the School, where Children strove”, the adulthood: “We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain”, and the “setting sun” which is the time when she is nearing her death.


As they pass the setting sun, the narrator begins to feel very cold, and her dress made of gossamer and tulle is not enough to keep her warm. Then they passed by her grave, a swelling in the ground. The journey continues after this provision, telling the reader that the narrator's funeral is not the final destination.


The narrator then states that it has been centuries since her death; however, in the afterlife, it has felt like less than a day. At the end of the poem, the narrator states that she surmised that her carriage was heading "toward eternity", where she is heading in the afterlife.


The Chariot or “Because I could not stop for Death”

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity –
Bibliography (Part 2)
Ferlazzo, Paul. Critical Essays on Emily Dickinson. Cambridge, MA: G.K. Hall &
Co., 1984.

Ikhsanti, Aulia. "Poetry Analysis: Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for
Death”." Wordpress. Read My Canvas, 17 Dec. 2012. Web. 16 May 2014. <http://readmycanvas.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/poetry-analysis-emily-dickinsons-because-i-could-not-stop-for-death/>.

Kehr, Alter. "Emily Dickinson - Biography." . The European Graduate School, 1
May 2014. Web. 16 May 2014. <http://www.egs.edu/library/emily-dickinson/biography/>.

Mainiero, Lina,ed. “Emily Dickinson.” American Women Writers: From Colonial
Times to the Present. United States: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1997.

Ikhsanti, Aulia. "Poetry Analysis: Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop
for Death”." Wordpress. Read My Canvas, 17 Dec. 2012. Web. 16 May 2014. <http://readmycanvas.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/poetry-analysis-emily-dickinsons-because-i-could-not-stop-for-death/>.
Bibliography (Part 3)
"Romanticism." DISCovering Authors. Online ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Discovering
Collection. Gale. Infolink / JP Stevens High School. 16 May. 2014
<http:/find.galegroup.com/srcx?infomark.do&source=gale&srcprod=DISC&userGroupName=jps&prodId=DC&tabID=T001&docId=EJ2101400125&type=retrieve&contentSet=GSRC&version=1.0>.

Timko, Michael. "Henry David Thoreau and Transcendental reformation." World
and I Jan. 2009. Gale Power Search. Web. 9 May 2014. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA197857634&v=2.1&u=jps&it=r&p=GPS&sw=w&asid=cd2a55a92dc6c774b6459e926e84cee3>.

"Transcendentalism." Student Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Discovering
Collection. Gale. Infolink / JP Stevens High School. 15 May. 2014<http://find.galegroup.com/srcx/infomark.do?&source=gale&srcprod=DISC&userGroupName=jps&prodId=DC&tabID=T001&docId=EJ2181500300&type=retrieve&contentSet=GSRC&version=1.0>.

Unger, Leonard,ed. “Emily Dickinson.” American Writers: A Collection of Literary
Biographies.New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1974.
Early Life

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Her family was a major part of local society, founding Amherst College. As a result, Emily was very well educated.
Her father, Edward Dickinson, was an authoritative figure in her life, which led to her rebellious and independent attitude.
Emily Dickinson attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, a women’s college in southern Massachusetts.
Dickinson grieved due to the deaths of many of her close friends and advisers in her late teens, leading to her interest in the contrast between life and death, a subject she would explore in her works.

Adulthood

As Emily Dickinson began to distance herself from the world she resided in her family home “The Homestead” and immersed herself in her poetry.
Dickinson left Amherst to receive a few painful surgeries in the mid 1860’s. When returning home, she progressed further into her dark period.
Dickinson became known as “The Woman in White”. She would wear a white dress whenever seen in public. However, she would speak to most visitors through the door.
During her stay at “The Homestead”, Dickinson exhibited her master skills in botany through keeping accounts and collecting specimens, as well as by keeping a garden.

Late Life

Emily Dickinson shared a close bond with Otis Phillips Lord, a local Judge who visited her often.
However, the monotony of Dickinson’s life was interrupted. Dickinson’s father passed away in 1874; however, she did not attend the funeral or the memorial service.
During the last few years of her life, Emily Dickinson ceased to write more poetry, and burned several works at the request of her sister, Lavinia Norcross.
In 1882, Dickinson's mother passed away due to health complications. In 1883, the young son of her brother Austin passed away.
In 1884, Otis Phillips Lord passed away from years of suffering from a critical illness.
After these events, Dickinson’s health began to fail, and she stated that she had seen “a great darkness coming”.
On May 15, 1886, Dickinson passed away from Bright’s disease at the age of 55.

Bibliography (Pictures- Part 1):

*All background pictures provided by http://www.prezi.com*

http://edsitement.neh.gov/sites/edsitement.neh.gov/files/images/content/emily2-final.jpg

http://www.notablebiographies.com/De-Du/Dickinson-Emily.html

http://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/ed/files/about_emily/family_and_friends/gilbert-dickinson.jpg

http://hcap.artstor.org/collect/cic-hcap/index/assoc/i412.dir/Mary%20Lyon%20Hall%20(facade,%20view%20from%20the%20north%20northeast),%20Mount%20Holyoke%20College-medium.jpg


Bibliography (Pictures-Part 2)

http://blog.masslive.com/breakingnews/2009/04/medium_Hfctam~1.jpg

http://cdn.timerime.com/cdn-4/upload/resized/94309/1028953/resized_image2_707dcab6e7a0d5a2127fbcc1cb17262f.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/Dickinson_and_Turner_1859_(cleaned).jpg

https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/357724/standard/1850dickinson_wa04-redcd.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/EmilyDickinsonGrave-color.jpg

Author's Purpose
The author wrote this poem to express her beliefs on death and what she believes she will experience
The concept of Eternity in the afterlife is explored, as is the idea of immortality of the human spirit
The mundane quality of worldly responsibilities is emphasized through the ease with which she casts them away
She provides a condensed description of life through what she sees as she is being led by Death: childhood, adulthood, and inevitably death
The author contemplates the ultimate fate of the human soul
Bibliography
Full transcript