View Full Version : Please Help me: i need to know if Emily Dickinson's life was easy or difficult, why?

04-21-2006, 10:57 AM
i need to know if Emily Dickinson's life was easy or difficult, why?

summer grace
04-21-2006, 12:01 PM
Well, I think her life was difficult in the sense that it was a challenge to be as unconventional as she was, even as a recluse, in a century when women had certain roles. She never really fulfilled traditional roles. Also, she was a woman writer in a century where women writers were not that highly thought of. That could have made her life difficult. If you were a women writer, and you wrote conventional poetry or novels, then sure, you might be succesful, but Emily never did. These are reasons her life may have been difficult.

Her life was easy in the sense that she was able to reject 19th century roles, and live as a recluse in her own world. She came from a wealthy family, and from a family that allowed her some freedom of thought, and so she never had to go out and marry and have children, and all that. Nor did she have to have the only jobs that women could have then, like schoolteacher, governess, sewing,etc. So her life was easy in that sense. I would say that if you are talking about her interior life, then it was difficult, perhaps, her exterior life, not so much. In general, her life may not have been that happy, so I would say it was difficult-hope that helps.

06-02-2006, 11:28 PM
Yes I think Emily's life was quite diffifult. It seems that she was mourning her loss of freedom in her poems, dont you feel that way. Her poems are always sad, always about loss and being different. i think there was something she always longed for but she could never find it. So yes her life must have been very difficult.

07-10-2006, 01:45 PM
I generally feel sad thinking (knowing) that Emily had a difficult life, since as Grace said: externally she had everything a woman could want for in her (and probably our) time. Yet she couldn't feel fully satisfied with what she had as any other person would have and longed for something else.

This gives a large portion of her poems a depressing feel. Frankly I don't know which I prefer - the happy poems or the sad ones. It depends on my mood alot and both types have the power to change my mood.

On the subject of loss of freedom...

Let us play yesterday --
I -- the Girl at school --
You -- and Eternity -- the
Untold Tale --

Easing my famine
At my Lexicon --
Logarithm -- had I -- for Drink --
'Twas a dry Wine --

Somewhat different -- must be --
Dreams tint the Sleep --
Cunning Reds of Morning
Make the Blind -- leap --

Still at the Egg-life --
Chafing the Shell --
When you troubled the Ellipse --
And the Bird fell --

Manacles be dim -- they say --
To the new Free --
Liberty -- Commoner --
Never could -- to me --

'Twas my last gratitude
When I slept -- at night --
'Twas the first Miracle
Let in -- with Light --

Can the Lark resume the Shell --
Easier -- for the Sky --
Wouldn't Bonds hurt more
Than Yesterday?

Wouldn't Dungeons sorer frate
On the Man -- free --
Just long enough to taste --
Then -- doomed new --

God of the Manacle
As of the Free --
Take not my Liberty
Away from Me --