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Extreem Dislike Of Society In Emily Dickinson’s Poetry, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, And Lu Xun’s Diary Of A Madman

1808 words - 7 pages

It is funny and yet tragic to see that no matter where an individual’s geographical location is or for the most part when in history the duration of their lifetime occurred, that they still can share with other tormented individuals the same pain, as a result of the same malignancies plaguing humanity for what seems to have been from the beginning. Emily Dickinson’s poetry, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and Lu Xun’s “Diary of a Madman” all exhibit disgust for their societies, what is particularly interesting however, is that the subject of their complaints are almost identical in nature. This demonstrates how literature really does reflect the attitudes and tribulations the society and or culture endures from which it was written. The grievances that they feel to be of such importance as to base their literary works on are that of traditionalism and, the carnivorous nature of society. Different societies will inevitably produce different restrictive and consuming faces to these problems.

For Emily Dickinson it was a religious traditionalism that set the mood for the way of life in her society. The Puritans were a highly repressive people, and somber in nature, in order to live what they considered to be an orthodox life. Her poem 216 shows us exactly what she thought to be the consequences of living in her society and how she felt about it. “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers- Untouched by Morning And untouched by Noon- Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection- Rafter of satin, And Roof of stone. Light laughs the breeze In her Castle above them- Babbles the Bee in a stolid Ear, Pipe the Sweet Birds in ignorant cadence- Ah, what sagacity perished here!” ( Norton 824). Here she shows that society is holding itself not only holding itself away from living and enjoying life, but also a certain degree of criticism on her behalf of the actual religion, and quite possibly the theologian doctrine of Puritanism. She has the Puritans in this dark tomb, void of the light of day in the first stanza. The light of day could represent not just the natural world but also the truth of God. She describes the birds and the bees as being blissful in the light of the sun, maybe their blissful because they are living how God intended us to, and that the natural world in which God gave them and appreciating by enjoying the life that God also had given them, instead it seems as if she is saying that through their restrictions which takes away the ability to fully experience and enjoy they have lost God, or at least not on the path that leads towards God. Most obvious of all though she is talking about the repression that her society imposes on living. Everything that was having a good time and enjoying life was because it was in nature, which is wild, being wild means without restraints and being free. The dead bodies are in self made prisons of their own self- imposed restraints. The tomb is nothing more than the formalities and...

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