Emily Dickinson: Her View of God
Emily Dickinson had a view of God and His power that was very strange
for a person of her time. Dickinson questioned God, His power, and the people
in the society around her. She did not believe in going to church because she
felt as though she couldn't find any answers there. She asked God questions
through writing poems, and believed that she had to wait until she died to find
out the answers. Dickinson was ahead of her time with beliefs like this. Many
people in her generation just believed in God, went to church, and looked highly
on the events discussed during church out of fear. These people were hesitant
to ask questions, afraid of God, and scared of Dickinson because she started to
inquire about things that only God was capable of answering.
In Dickinson's poem, "I Shall Know Why-When Time Is Over", she is
describing her feelings toward God. It appears as though she is angry with Him
because she cannot get any answers to her questions. Emily Dickinson feels,
that the answers to these questions will only come with death.
" I shall know why-when time is over-
And I have ceased to wonder why-
Christ will explain each separate anguish
In the fair schoolroom of the sky- (78)".
After she dies and God answers all of her questions, Dickinson then says:
" I shall forget the drop of anguish
That scalds me now-that scalds me now!"
This shows Dickinson's anger toward God. She does not want to have to die to
have her questions answered. She wants to be able to live without these
questions of what God wants, because they are deeply affecting her.
As time goes by, one could say that Dickinson is learning to live with
the questions she has for God. She does not look at death as a bad thing, she
starts to look at it in a positive way. She slowly starts to seclude herself
from others, which is apparent in her poems. Dickinson starts to discuss her
state of solitude and how it came about. This is described in, "The Soul
Selects Her Own Society". Dickinson says that: