Description: The primary sources for this study are Dickinson's poems and letters. The purpose is to examine child imagery in Dickinson's work, and the investigation is based on the chronological age of children in the images. Dickinson's small child exists in mystical communion with nature and deity. Inevitably the child is wrenched from this divine state by one of three estranging forces: adult society, death, or love. After the estrangement the state of childhood may be regained only after death, at which time the soul enters immortality as a small child. The study moreover contends that one aspect of Dickinson's seclusion was an endeavor to remain a child.
Date: May 1974
Creator: McClaran, Nancy Eubanks