Free Essay on How Real-Life Experiences of Emily Dickinson Influenced Her Writing

Published: 2022-02-21 05:49:54
Free Essay on How Real-Life Experiences of Emily Dickinson Influenced Her Writing
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Biography Emily Dickinson
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1844 words
16 min read

Every human being, even animals are at one time or another affected by their environment. The surrounding world has a unique impact on us. At a time you will hear someone talking of how they do find a particular situation to be so calm and relaxing while others will complain of a specific surrounding being full of troubles and tribulation, hence unconducive for their stay (Dickinson 5). The surrounding world has unmatched, personal experiences which impact our personality differently from one another. Similarly, numerous renowned authors have been shaped by their previous experiences or any other possible memorable event which stands central in her life motivating them to put them in ink (Beiman 7). Race, socioeconomic, gender, society beliefs and set up, and childhood interactions have been noticed to have a huge influence on most of the authors' writings. For easy understanding of the majority of the already selling books and to get the feeling of the theme being presented, one has to know at least some background of the author and what swayed him or her to write in the style he or she chose. A prime sample of an author whose surrounding environment shaped her writing is Emily Dickinson, an American poet (Akimushkin, Diego, and Osvaldo 7).

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Real Life Influence on Emily Dickinson's Poetry

No current reader or fan (I included) of Emily Dickinson has ever met this poetry guru, who passed away in Amherst, almost one and a half centuries ago, yet we often glued to her poems imagining what kind of life she lived. However, by taking a close observation between her poems' lines and verses, one can have a correct guess regarding this outstanding poet (Dickinson 12). For Emily Dickinson, her personal life experience is intertwined with the majority of her writings - from novels to provoking and eye-catching poems. Her ability and life decisions to dwell within herself are often mirrored in her poems, through a strong sense of imaginativeness. Most of the pieces of writing that Emily Dickinson authored probes deeply within her mind. They reveal some of her private life experiences and the impact on her feelings and opinion as regards to love, religion, death, and general life. By scrutinizing Emily's general life and reading through her poems from a different angle, more keenly, it is obvious one can establish a clear autobiographical affiliation (Beiman 4).

Religion Influence on Writing

Basing on Emily's poetry, it is evident that most of the emotions and beliefs that Emily focuses on are in some aspects connected to her early upbringing that mainly concentrate on religion beliefs (Beiman 2). Throughout Emily's childhood, the society in which she grew up was eminently based on Puritan beliefs and church. Some of the different virtues of puritanism such as austerity, simplicity, flesh denial, and hard work are always present in her lifestyle and are repeatedly evident in her poems, if not in one, the ultimately the other one has (Akimushkin, Diego, and Osvaldo 2). Not every reader will quickly understand the way Emily uses surroundings influence to build her poetry; a keen and critical evaluation has to be dome as she uses hidden meanings to reveal her childhood up ringing in the poems. Regardless of her stubbornness and frequent denials to be labeled, it is evident through her lyrics that she was more of a "New Englander." one of the contributing factors that enable the reader to understand her puritanism beliefs is the profound religion and feeling attachment in her poems. One of her close friend and publisher of some of her lyrics, Wolff Griffin Cynthia, highlights the Emily was very much at home with the Bible and new every single line. She further adds that Emily has quotes and referred to the Bible in her poetry than the way she reflected on any other piece of work (Beiman 4).

Personal Influence from the Father

Emily also is influenced by her father, Edward, Dickinson to write poetry. At an early age, Emily's father would gather them and teach them Bible teachings explaining in detail the inner meaning that the Bible intended to pass (Akimushkin, Diego, and Osvaldo 2). Even though he was teaching them religious teachings, Edward used a harsh tone, and he was feared in society (Dickinson, 2018). His close friends often described him as a latter-day puritan who tightly held the puritanism values at heart. His home was always quiet, and secularism was nowhere to be seen. The harshness in Emily's father made people refer to their home as a dark prison where freedom of religion was never to be granted. Emily grew up with a lot of fear for his father. Fear drove her life. Despite the harshness Emily's father had, he has never considered a fully commuted puritan, he often delayed conversations and majorly focused his arguments of the divine believe in regards to the businesses he conducted. He did not explore the Divinity of mystery to his children fully, among them being Emily (Dickinson 17). Through Emily's poems, it is evident that the faith paradox which he observed from his father at an early age has influenced Emily. It the religious instability to express full stand to her children tears Emily's mind hence infiltrating Emily with religion doubt's. Her many doubt on religion and secular matters often tempted her faith in God and sometimes ended up questioning His presence, but her life needs always drove her back to God. Even though Emily lacked proper guidance on religious beliefs, she was still certain on one thing, God existed, and His miracles were visible (Dickinson 11).

Influence of Loneliness

In one of her many letters, Emily described to a friend to be left alone I. religion rebellion. The only thing that gave Emily hope and faith in God is her perception that God exists (Dickinson 5). Upon accomplishing full poetic freedom, Emily self-assuredly penned her poems in a complete rebellion of God. This is evidenced by her piece of poetry which she stated: "I prayed, and did God care?" Emily defied her father's harsh religion teachings and even went to some extent referring to herself as a complete pagan (Dickinson 27). The confusion in religious belief that had occurred between the Roman parent church and the Puritans, where her father majored his belief and forced them to adhere to new puritanism rules seems to have irked Emily, leading to her open denouncement of religion (Beiman 7). They believe that God existed and that He was omnipotent with His official place being heaven reversed Emily's thinking which led to her writing another critical poem begging for forgiveness from God. She stated;"As for God, we ask one favor - to be forgiven."

She desperately pleads for forgiveness from God for the over enjoyment she was doing in her secular world, but still maintains to be a strong pagan. Emily harbored a lot of doubts about religious beliefs. The estrangement sense she had pained her out of her father's spiritual ways with a sole hope of finding anew heaven in poetry rather than the assumed theology and religion. At long last, Emily discovered her unique heaven, different from the religious peoples' view. During her stay, she opened up to one of her authors that she had finally found what she has been searching for ages, her heaven. Emily described her relationship with God to be like that of two lovebirds who understand each other's needs. Hence the poem "My River runs to thee" (Beiman 8).

The Influence of Freedom

In her childhood life, Emily was at times confused which way to follow; whether to stick with fathers puritanism teachings or to go a different way of free life (Dickinson 11). Her lice while at her fathers home was full of questions. She described herself as a flexible person who would decide what to do when she is grown up and free from the bandage of her harsh father (Dickinson 35). Due to the strict environment under her fathers watch, Emily drafted numerous poems which evidenced her need and desperate wish to tour the world. In one of her poems, she wrote that she is dwelling in a world of possibilities. In this piece of poetry, she communicates that despite the harsh rules her father has put her under, the final decision rests within her and that she can make any decision when she moves out. Hence, the possibility of doing anything she wished was higher than the restrictions which she was being put under by her father. She strongly opposed strict life and challenged guardians always to let their children follow what they held at heart by themselves, perhaps, without forced influence on them (Beiman 14).

Influence of Death on Emily's Poetry

Although Emily at times confidently opposed religion, the influence of death and what death often caused made her soften her religious criticism. The impact of death in Emily's life had a lot of weight on her poem writing (Dickinson 21). In her real life, Emily foes not only regret the separation of love but the permanent separation which had disconnected her from her family members and other few friends that she had made along the life's journey. Of all the things that would separate people, death was always kept her worrying (Beiman, 20). The physical separation and distance barriers never mattered to her. The soul separation, death of a loved one is what gave her nightmares. The influence of death from her real-life happenings is illustrated in a variety of her poems of which she begs death to be fairer to human hearts. She admits that death caused her a great separation and loneliness in her life. The influence of death in her life further led to a different experience of questioning the nature of God and why He allowed death to separate people who loved one another. Emily believed the end was a leveler, and it never cared whether one was busy building their dreams it had already made it in life. It leveled them in the cemetery. This influence has contributed to the majority of her poems which are undeniably reflective of her early life (Akimushkin, Diego, and Osvaldo 17).


Basing on Emily Dickinson life experiences and the kind of poems she authored, it is evident that in one way or another the surroundings in which a person is brought up from have a significant influence on whatever he or she writes. The relief real life experiences in her life are illuminated in the majority of Emily's poems from the bitter experiences and harsh parenting to influence of death in her life.

Works Cited

Akimushkin, Camilo, Diego Raphael Amancio, and Osvaldo Novais Oliveira Jr. "Text authorship identified using the dynamics of word co-occurrence networks." PloS one 12.1 (2017). Retrieved from


Beiman, Nancy. Prepare to board! Creating a story and characters for animated features and shorts. CRC Press, 2017. Retrieved from


Dickinson, Emily. Emily Dickinson: Complete Poems. Read On, 2018. Retrieved from


Ullman, Montague, and Nan Zimmerman. Working with dreams. Routledge, 2017. Retrieved from


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