EN 209 Lecture Notes - Lecture 28: Transcendentalism, Signify

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Emily Dickinson
*String of feminism in her writing
Success is counted sweetest
Accomplishments that required effort and work mean more to us than those that
took no effort.
Title divine is mine
Discusses the institution of marriage and the old-fashioned notion that a woman’s
sense of identity depends on who she’s married to.
Dickinson challenges this mindset.
“Born—Bridalled—/ Shrouded—/In a day/Tri-Victory—” (lines 14-17).
Born as this idea that you aren’t complete until you’re married.
Bridalled is a pun to bridled , which is a horse’s harness.
Shroud is something that covers the face at funerals. A veil is what is worn
at a wedding. Association with death is to signify the loss of her own
Word choice is intentional sarcasm.
“‘My Husband’ / Women say / Stroking the melody, / Is this the way?” (ln 18-21).
Commenting on whether this is the only way for a woman to achieve her
“Faith” is a fine invention
Finding the balance between faith and science.
I taste a liquor never brewed
This poem has heavy influence from Emerson’s transcendentalism
Dickinson plays with the metaphor of being drunk on nature
“Inebriate of air – am I – / And Debauchee of Dew” (lines 5-6).
Inebriate = drunk
Debauchery = excess of pleasure
I’m wife, I’ve finished that
This is another commentary on the institution of marriage
Written from the perspective of a woman who has just gotten married
She looks back on her previous life while single
“How odd the girl’s life looks / Behind this soft eclipse!” (lines 5-6).
Refers to her previous life before marriage.
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((cid:262)(cid:262)omplishments that (cid:389)e(cid:388)ui(cid:389)ed e(cid:300)(cid:300)o(cid:389)t and (cid:442)o(cid:389)k mean mo(cid:389)e to us than those that. Dis(cid:262)usses the institution o(cid:300) ma(cid:389)(cid:389)ia(cid:301)e and the old-(cid:300)ashioned notion that a (cid:442)oman(cid:789)s sense o(cid:300) identit(cid:448) depends on (cid:442)ho she(cid:789)s ma(cid:389)(cid:389)ied to. Born as this idea that (cid:448)ou a(cid:389)en(cid:789)t (cid:262)omplete until (cid:448)ou(cid:789)(cid:389)e ma(cid:389)(cid:389)ied. Bridalled is a pun to (cid:261)ridled , (cid:442)hi(cid:262)h is a ho(cid:389)se(cid:789)s ha(cid:389)ness. Shroud is somethin(cid:301) that (cid:262)o(cid:441)e(cid:389)s the (cid:300)a(cid:262)e at (cid:300)une(cid:389)als. ( (cid:441)eil is (cid:442)hat is (cid:442)o(cid:389)n at a (cid:442)eddin(cid:301). (sso(cid:262)iation (cid:442)ith death is to si(cid:301)ni(cid:300)(cid:448) the loss o(cid:300) he(cid:389) o(cid:442)n identit(cid:448). (cid:786)(cid:788)m(cid:448) hus(cid:261)and(cid:789) / women sa(cid:448) / 2t(cid:389)okin(cid:301) the melod(cid:448), / is this the (cid:442)a(cid:448)? (cid:787) (cid:772)ln (cid:680)(cid:687)-(cid:681)(cid:680)(cid:773). Commentin(cid:301) on (cid:442)hethe(cid:389) this is the onl(cid:448) (cid:442)a(cid:448) (cid:300)o(cid:389) a (cid:442)oman to a(cid:262)hie(cid:441)e he(cid:389) identit(cid:448). (cid:786)faith(cid:787) is a ne in(cid:441)ention. Findin(cid:301) the (cid:261)alan(cid:262)e (cid:261)et(cid:442)een (cid:300)aith and s(cid:262)ien(cid:262)e. This poem has hea(cid:441)(cid:448) in uen(cid:262)e (cid:300)(cid:389)om eme(cid:389)son(cid:789)s t(cid:389)ans(cid:262)endentalism. Di(cid:262)kinson pla(cid:448)s (cid:442)ith the metapho(cid:389) o(cid:300) (cid:261)ein(cid:301) d(cid:389)unk on natu(cid:389)e.

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