Discuss this view with detailed reference to your prescribed text and one other related text.
Belonging is a multifaceted concept that differs for each person. An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can either enrich or limit their experience of belonging. In Emily Dickinson’s poetry, she explores belonging through different aspects and representations in order to further develop the readers understanding of the world. In particular ‘this is my letter to the wolrd’, I died for beauty’, ‘I had been hungry’, and ‘narrow fellow in the grass,’ all illustrate humanity’s natural state of belonging and demonstrates how it can be so deeply affected by society and other forces. Margaret wild and Anne Spudvilas also dive deep into this idea through the arresting picture book ‘Woolvs in the Sitee.’ In this, the impact of others and the world conveys belonging as also a multidimensional concept that determines how an individual perceives the world which enhances or inhibits the ability to belong. The composers in all these texts use a variety of techniques that allow for a greater understanding of the concept explored and convey the extent of which an individual’s sense of belonging or not belonging is affected.
Dickinson’s ‘letter to the world’ highlights this idea of interactions and its relationship to a sense of belonging. In the poem, the persona feels a strong need to belong to the world and appeals to society for acceptance. Although she is rejected by humanity, the persona finds a connection to nature and this allows her to have a feeling of belonging. In the first line the ‘letter to the world’ is the persona’s attempt to reach out to the community and with the use of high modality in ‘never wrote to me’, the extent of her alienation and desire to belong is highlighted while also conveying the denial by society. ‘Her message is committed to hands I cannot see’ extends upon the persona’s isolation revealing that she cannot in fact see the receiver, again reiterating her lack of belonging. The persona does however have a sense of belonging to nature as shown in ‘tender majesty’. This term refers to respect and reverence displaying the relationship between the two. It also has connotations of a kingdom to which the persona and the rest of the world collectively belong despite the disconnection she experiences. There is a constant personification of nature that reflects the relationship and connection that enhances the persona sense of belonging. For example, the simple pronoun in ‘her sweet ‘references the nurturing quality of a female in which the persona shares a strong connection with. Dickinson’s use of these techniques portrays how the persona’s experience with society limited her sense of belonging. However Dickinson also showed how the relationship between nature and the persona enriched the connection resulting in a feeling of belonging.
I died for beauty explores belonging through the shared relationship of death that all humans must experience. It demonstrates that while in life, we should live true to one’s self, the inescapable mortality provides a connection with our ‘kinsmen.’ As demonstrated in the poem, dying for beauty infers living in accordance with the self which can further be regarded as a sacrifice to support and achieve those ideals. The two personas in in the poem convey self-belonging as following personal ideals as one died for truth and the other for beauty. However, the seekers of these ideals find themselves on the same path to humanity’s final destination. The grave is literally and metaphorically a meeting place for the dead- one where all people belong. Still, despite belonging together in death, the speakers lay together in ‘adjoining rooms’, suggesting that the persona does not feel that true sense of belonging. This is further explored through