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There is a passage in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee in which Scout asks her neighbor Miss Maudie about the recluse of the neighborhood, Boo Radley, because she finds him strange. But Miss Maudie tells Scout after they discuss the hypocrisy of their town that Boo may just want to remain inside his house. Certainly,Emily Dickinson lived deliberately having chosen solitude for contemplation, reading, and writing. Like Wordsworth, she may have found "the world too much" with her. At any rate, she perceived, not "through a glass darkly," but clearly the foibles of mankind in the privacy of her own home.
Her poem, "Much Madness is Divinest Sense," illustrates the perspicacity of Miss Dickinson who knew that to be different is to be misjudged, or, as Herman Melville stated, "failure is the true test of success." In other poems, also, Miss Dickinson wrote of the incongruities of the mundane populace. For instance, she writes a poem about how people cannot handle truth when it is spoken frankly: "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant" describes how success at communicating truth lies in "circuit":
Too right for our infirm Delight
The turth's superb surprise...
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind--
This poem has much the same tone as that of "Much Madness is Divinest Sense." Another poem that has the tone, of attitude of the author toward the incongruities and pettiness of people is her poem entitled "I'm Nobody! Who are You?"
I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
These poems mentioned are just a few of the ones that explain why Emily Dickinson preferred her own company in the solace of her own home, "residing in indeterminancy."
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