Emily Dickinson, the Tyrant, and the Daemon: A Critique of Societal Oppression, and the Significance of Artistic Truth, Is A Well-Researched Topic, It Is To Be Used As A Guide Or Framework For Your Research
I N T R O D U C T I O N
Known during her time as the eccentric reclusive “Myth” of Amherst, Massachusetts, who would have imagined two centuries later, from stage left, that Emily Dickinson would be given her own monologue and begin a play with a glass of wine at hand (Davis2)? While 1920 and 1930 literary critics, such as Harold Mono, declared Emily Dickinson “a half-idiotic
school-girl…. [who was] intellectually blind, partially dead, and most dumb to the art of poetry” (Howe vii), literary criticism since the 1970s has greatly reconstructed the poet as a self-aware “genius” (Rich 160).
Her first poem, as documented by Thomas H. Johnson, dates the beginning of her poetic journey at the age of 20. For the following 35 years, the solitary poet would craft nearly 1,800 poems—if not more—within her second-story corner bedroom, which she referred to as “freedom” (Rich 158). From a small 18-inch square desk in her floral-printed room, Dickinson would compose her “Immortality” carefully within letters, the folds of envelopes, and at times, on scraps of chocolate wrappers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
APPROVAL PAGE 2
DICKINSON : ADOLESCENCE, EDUCATION & LETTERS 14
THE MAKING OF AN ICONOCLAST: GENDER, PATRIARCHY & RELIGION 28
EMBRACING THE DAEMON:
NAVIGATING “MY LIFE HAD STOOD—A LOADED GUN—” 46
POETIC REDEMPTION: ARTISTIC TRUTH 65
WORKS CITED 70