Task 1 Responding Essay

1251 words - 6 pages

The understanding of belonging is not a concrete block, but a dynamic plain fertilised by interaction with an individual’s context. This allows equilibrium to form between beliefs of identity, and uncovering the true meaning of belonging. Both nineteenth century poet Emily Dickinson and Modernist author Margery Williams explore this complex state of acceptance through their works, ‘The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson’ and ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’. Paradox in ‘What mystery pervades a well’, and mechanical metaphor in the microcosmic short story detail that differentiating truth and imagination is integral to cultivate an understanding of belonging. Stichomythia in ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’, and economic discourse in ‘I had been hungry all the years’ depict that acceptance can only be achieved through overcoming the struggle between yearning to belong and facing societal barriers. Finally, it is discovered that personal notions of identity are formed through experiences in the larger world, which creates a cemented understanding of belonging. This is portrayed through an extended weather metaphor by Margery Williams and inclusive language in ‘I died for beauty’. Together, the composers create texts which bring the audience on a journey of acceptance and identity, in turn enriching their understandings of belonging.
Experiences of acceptance within one’s context allow individuals to discover the difference between truth and imagination. Influenced by her transcendental surroundings, Emily Dickinson’s poem ‘What mystery pervades a well’ challenges the heretical notion that an affinity to nature is integral to achieving an understanding of belonging. The paradox of ‘A neighbour from another world’ relates nature to a ‘neighbour’, portraying the kinship that Dickinson’s literary peers imagined themselves to possess. She then transplants this paradigm to ‘another world’, conveying that the truth of nature is out of humankind’s reach. Further connoting that her peers are in a state of self-delusion, she reiterates her idiosyncratic views in ‘The ones that cite her most/ Have never passed her haunted house’. Dickinson objectifies her influential scholars by naming them as ‘the ones’. This connotes a disconnection from belonging that can only be repaired through understanding that in reality, nature is an enigma. By depicting the sublime of nature as a ‘haunted house’, Dickinson wittily utilises the gothic undercurrents of her Romantic literary traditions to impregnate fear into her audience. Emphasised by alliteration, she depicts that nature is astonishing, and that its omnipotent and unpredictable power should not be sought, but merely accepted. She takes the reader through an experience of acceptance, concluding that an individual must understand the difference between disillusionment and reality in order to belong. Margery Williams alternatively incorporates this theme throughout her Modernist short story ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’. The juxtaposition of...

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