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Describe how  "I'm nobody! Who are you?" is reflective of author Emily Dickinson in...

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joellle | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted September 8, 2012 at 9:19 PM via web

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Describe how  "I'm nobody! Who are you?" is reflective of author Emily Dickinson in any way.

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM (Answer #1)

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I would say that one of the most immediate connections that can be made between the poem and Dickinson's life is the idea of being "on the outside."  Dickinson's life of writing was one in which she was one the outside of society.  Dickinson never wielded power from the inside and did not find herself to be the immediate benefactor of her rightful talent.  At the same time, there is considerable thought to suggest that even if she were known, she would have wanted such adulation and praise.  This is where Dickinson embodies the marginalization and resistance in the poem.  The poem combines both experiences, preventing a sense of alienation and providing a sense of powerful dissent in being accepted by the norm of social edicts.  In the reveling of the solidarity that is reached by those who are on the outside of what "the norm" experiences, Dickinson finds a way to combine both her own subjective experience and the artistic experience she inspires in the reader and student of her work.  In this dynamic, one can see how the poem has a direct relationship to the professional and personal life of Emily Dickinson.

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