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Belonging Essay

832 words - 4 pages

An individual’s experiences with their society shape their views on belonging, influencing the decisions they make regarding their association with their world and identity. These notions of belonging are explored by the poet Emily Dickinson through her anthology The Selected Poetry of Emily Dickinson, specifically the semi – autobiographical poems “This is my letter to the world”, “I died for beauty but was scarce”, “I had been hungry all the years” and “A word dropped careless on a page”. These texts portray how an individual’s ideals towards belonging are influenced by their relationship with their world and why some may react differently to these experiences and developed ideals.
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Dickinson looked further, past her time, where her work would’ve been appreciated, which dissolved her yearning to belong to the literary world of her time.
As an individual explores the void of their relationship with their world, they may satisfy that desire to belong as they realise that they’re already accepted in a different realm, relieving the yearning to belong to the other world. Dickinson relinquished her ties to and abandons her yearning to be accepted by the society she resided in and found peace with nature. In “Letter” her sense of belonging and peace with nature is emphasised through the personification of nature itself, who Dickinson glorifies with absolute “majesty”, further displaying her deep connection with nature which fulfils her desire to belong to society. Dickinson mirrors the persona’s realisation and these transcendentalist values in “Hungry”. She accentuates her desire to belong to society through the symbolic hunger the persona has felt for “all these years”. Dickinson signifies her realisation, by demonstrating the persona’s dissatisfaction with belonging to those at the feast through the contrast of the metaphoric “ample bread” and “crumb”, as the persona realises that belonging to the feast , the ample bread, was unlike her affiliation with nature, the crumb. She realises that she has already “tasted” belonging in the “Nature’s dining room” where she belongs. Dickinson portrays her belonging to nature and lack of, to society, through the juxtaposed “berry of a mountain bush” with the “road”, showing that she...

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