June Oh

Site in-progress | Interdisciplinary Literary Scholar

Emily Dickinson and Discontinuous Self

Oh, June Young and Hyun Sook Huh. “Discontinuous Self: The Significances of Dickinson’s Poetic Persona.” Studies in Modern British and American Poetry. Vol. 19 No. 2, 2013. pp. 129-155.

디킨슨은 단일한 자아로의 추구를 벗어나 그녀가 이해한 자아 를 그녀의 시를 통해 재현했다. 그녀의 분절적이고 불연속적인 시적 자아 는 가부장제가 부여한 파편적인 여성 정체성을 초월한다는 점에서, 그리고 남성적인 일관된 정체성에 대항한다는 점에서 페미니즘적이지만 동시에 페 미니즘이 부여하는 일관적인 서사에 저항한다. 역설적이게도 디킨슨은 페미니즘적 의도를 지니면서도 페미니즘이라는 방식 역시 거부하는 것이다.

오준영, 허현숙

This distinctive lyrical personas resist the narrative given by and to feministic worldview. It confronts what the patriarchical perceives as feminine–fragmented and incomplete–and, further, thwarts the consistant narrative that is conceived as the ultimate meaning of woman artists. The poetic world of Dickinson reveals her way of recognizing self as fluid, segmented, and discontinuous and not as coherent and integrated. As such, Dickinson rejects feminism by incorporating feminism.

Oh and Huh

When it comes to reading Emily Dickinson, one cannot be but intrigued in the diverse personas in her poems. The various voices she has in her poems are incomparable to other poet’s works. The poetic personas are often identified with her own voice, but in many more cases, she voices what and who cannot be her: a child, a beggar, the dead, the corpse, a snake, or nonhuman beings all could be the voice in Dickinson’s world.

This article argues that this is how Dickinson reveals her way of recognition of self as fluid, segmented, and discontinuous, not as coherent and integrated. Most significantly, it is Dickinson’s way of refusing her contemporary society’s conception of a women and the qualities of her identity. In this regard, the diverse personas are Dickinson’s own medium to express her recognition of self as a woman poet: with all its brevity, repetition, and figuration.

Her personas then impede “easy” understanding and refuse a single narrative of her poetic identity. The genre of poetry itself is a Dickinson’s way of demanding the reader that each of her poems should be recognized in its own meaning. There should be no single narrative put on her poems like that of prose. Her poems and her personas are poetic without any patriarchal oppression for wholeness. Dickinson’s rejection of traditional coherence is evidence of her attempt to take in and advance the ideologically limited conception of women. Dickinson goes beyond the negatively imposed identity of women–that women are incomplete and fragmented. She oversets it by using the socially prescribed limitation as her tactic. With discontinuous poetic persona, Dickinson skillfully resists the idea of the self as an integrated unit with feministic intention.

Find my article in KISS

Keywords: Emily Dickinson, poetic persona, discontinuous self, narrative, feminism

Featured Image

O.A. BULLARD, ARTIST. THE DICKINSON CHILDREN. (EMILY ON THE LEFT). OIL ON CANVAS, CA. 1840. GIFT, GILBERT H. MONTAGUE, 1950. Credit: Houghton Library and Harvard Library for photo editing

Next Post

Previous Post

© 2024 June Oh

Theme by Anders Norén