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How does Dickinson mock puritan values in her poems?

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Introduction

Dickinson poetry is a concentrated attack on the customs and rituals of puritan society. With reference to 'the world is not conclusion' and other poems, discuss whether you agree with this statement. Dickinson poem 'the world is not conclusion' does not reflect a concentrated attack however she does mock puritanism and undermine its values, although she is a religious catholic Christian herself she feels that people do not understand religion like she does and that they are trying understand something which they never will. She conveys in the poem that there is an afterlife and how it undiscovered 's you have to go through it to know, suggests that she has experienced death. mentions themes of puritanism and death in this poem, similar themes are discussed in 'I felt a funeral in my brain' and 'There's a certain slant of light'. Dickinson starts poem 501 with the lines 'This world is not Conclusion.' ...read more.

Middle

The coma used after 'Funeral,' is quite significant as it breaks the sentence in too two parts highlighting the distance between her actually experiencing death and her thinking that she is experiencing death. Against the tone her is quite arrogant as she seems to be more knowledgeable then the believers and the faithful people, suggesting she is pointing a finger at puritan values. Dickinson clearly mocks puritan values in the line 'To guess, puzzles scholars-' this lines picks on the scholars knowledge and questions his knowledge, this line also suggests that the scholars are naive and in actual they don't know what they are talking about. This shows a slight arrogance on the speakers part as it makes it seem as if the speaker has the knowledge and the scholars don't. It also shows that maybe Dickinson has experienced death since she is so confident. The word 'puzzles' in this poem associates to confusion, which shows that Dickinson is mocking the puritan values as she claims they don't have enough knowledge or understanding about something they believe in so strongly. ...read more.

Conclusion

The line has two comas in it, to slow the sentence down and really emphasise what Dickinson is saying, the comas also make us question the puritan beliefs. The capital letter of 'Faith' makes it something important and gives it a status. Similarly in poem 258 Dickinson says 'That oppresses, like the Heft/Of Cathedral Tunes-' this line shows that the puritan values such as the cathedral tunes oppress people and put down there individualism. The word 'Heft associates to something heavy or burden like, this shows how Dickinson attacks puritans since she is saying there traditions are suppressing, she also capitalises 'Heft' giving it a heavy and downwards feel, the capital letter almost literally puts a burden on the reader. Dickinson puts a dash at the end of this line since it shows a unfinished feeling and shows that their traditions are incomplete and they are never ending. Overall Dickinson does attack puritan values and mocks them. She repeatedly shows them to be oppressing and incomplete in the sense that puritans themselves are unaware of there teahings and faith. ...read more.

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