Emily Dickinson

By: Isabela Ortiz

Religious Influences

Dickinson was brought up in a Calvinist household and attended church regularly. Starting at a young age Dickinson contemplated with her individual perception of faith and doubt. At 13 she received her first bible and dealt with usual visits from ministers who were close acquaintances of her parents. Wanting to remain true to herself Dickinson never completely joined the church, and after a while she stopped attending altogether.

Emily's Room and the White dress

Dickinson, a very intelligent individual wrote all of her poetry in her room, isolated from the world. Overtime she became very withdrawn and didn't even leave the security of her room to attend her father's funeral downstairs. It had gotten to a point where she only communicated through letters and talking behind her door. When Emily passed on, her sister found over 1800 poetry sketches piled and scattered throughout Dickinson's room. Also toward the end of her lifetime she was known to only wear a simple cotton white dress. The color and simplicity of the dress represents her brilliance, passion, and intensity.

Emily Dickinson and Parents


Emily Dickinson attended Amherst Academy (later renamed to Amherst college) founded in 1814 with the help of her grandfather, Samuel Fowler Dickinson, who was on the role of trustees at the time. During Dickinson's time at Amherst during the years of 1840-1847 she remained an inventive and focused student who appreciated learning. Amherst's motto and school's mission remained "morality, piety, and religion". While at college she learned an extensive vocabulary and was granted the ability to express freedom and knowledge. After Amherst Dickinson attended Mount Holyoke Female seminary where she learned about societal ideals and women's domestic responsibilities. After one year Emily left to pursue her poetry.

Before I Got My Eye Put Out - The Poetry of Emily Dickinson: Crash Course English Lit #8

Personal life

Emily Dickinson was a very introvert person who kept to herself most of the time. She remained in Massachusetts her whole life and lived in the same house she grew up in until death did her part. Emily's best friend in college, Susan Huntington Gilbert, whom she'd grown extremely close with became her brother Austin's wife. When Emily was in her thirties her mother grew I'll and cared for her over the next couple of decades. Also Emily never married and or had a defined love life ever. The only worthy suspicion of Emily being in allusively in love was with Otis Philips Lord an elderly Jude on the Massachusetts supreme court in Salem, but the fling needed when Philips Lord passed away in 1884. Overall Emily kept to her poetry, gardening, cooking, and close family ties most of the time.

Poetry and Writing Styles

In Emily Dickinson's lifetime she wrote over 1800 poems. The rhythm of the poems usually reflected the basic and simple hymns from church music. The majority of her work focused on the darkness of death and the ability of immortality. Dickinson is known for using the significant dash in her writings ,suspected to symbolize the brain's pausing method while reading. Dickinson is also recognized for being a huge paradox that's work was questioned for it's legitimacy due to the unique thinking methods that portrayed contradiction in her work. Main topics she wrote about included, lightness vs. darkness, death vs. life, and the power of God vs. the power of individuality. Emily Dickinson believed in the power of seeing along with the ability of ownership. Digging deeper she even came to compare and question the power and abilities of the nation to those of God. Popular figures in literature such as Lydia Maria Child, Charlotte Bronte, William Shakespeare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and William Wordsworth also influenced Dickinson's ideas and techniques represented throughout her poetry.

Reform/ Impact

Emily Dickinson wasn't known for doing one particular thing that changed the course of history instead she was an example to those of/ for literature, education, and women's rights. Out of the 1800 poems she wrote less than a dozen were published, but she was able to change the focus of literature once her work was reviewed and released.(Remember she used elements such as the significant dash) Dickinson was a complex and often misinterpreted individual who brought up unasked theories questioning the basis of power. She also brought up topics of ownership and the ability for oneself (women) to own unreasonable things such as mountains and the sky. Emily Dickinson like I mentioned before attended Amherst College equally as her male peers at the time, this was a huge step toward complete male and and female equality because women were able to gain the same knowledge as men and interpret it in their own ways to later change or impact their society. Examples of female influences include teachers, nurses, professors, writers like Emily and much more. Also her ability to apply herself to learning and poetry proved that women like Dickinson could change society in the slightest ways if they applied himself.


"Saying nothing...sometimes says the most"

"The brain is wider than the sky"

"I dwell in possibility"

" Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality"

" Whenever a thing is done for the first time, it releases a little demon"

"Dying is a wild night and a new road"

"Forever is composed of nows"

"Tell the truth, but tell it slant"