Vision of Death in Emily Dickinson's Selected Poems

  •  Marwan Alqaryouti    
  •  Ala Eddin Sadeq    


Poetry is greatly influenced by the cultural background and personal experiences of the poets. Emily Dickson’s poems exemplify this because she draws a lot of her motivation from her heritage of New England and her life experience which had harsh incidents such as loss of friends and relatives. She lives a life of seclusion, where she rarely has face-to-face encounter with her friends as she prefers communicating through letters. Her limited interaction with the society gives her adequate space to reflect and write about different aspects of life. Emily’s poetry is also influenced by the doubts she holds about Christianity, especially in relation with survival of the soul after death. "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" and "I Heard a Fly Buzz- when I Died" are among her popular poems that indicate her religious doubt. She agrees with some of the Calvinist religious beliefs, but still has some doubts about the innate depravity of mankind and the concept of the afterlife.

Dickinson’s spiritual background is indicated by her religious beliefs, which form the basis of her preoccupation with death. Although Dickinson is a religious person who believes in the inevitability of death and afterlife, she is a non-conformist as she is skeptical and curious about the nature of death. Transcendentalism is the other factor that contributes to Dickinson’s preoccupation with death as indicated in her poems. Dickinson’s preoccupation with death also results from her obsession, which is greatly contributed by the life experiences she has with death including loss of her family, mentors and close friends.

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