Is it fair to say that "The Soul Selects Her Own Society"  is a reflection of  Dickinson's own personality?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The original question has been edited to be only one question.  I think that with a complex thinker like Dickinson, there might be some natural challenge in being able to dogmatically interpret each poem from her voluminous workload as being an exact representation of her own being.  It seems that Dickinson was too complex a human being, as most human beings are, to be so easily one dimensional.  Naturally, I think that some part of her was able to be imprinted on her work.  In this case, it does make sense to see some aspect of Dickinson's life evident in this particular poem.  Certainly, the idea of a soul being selective in befriending or taking in specific individuals is something that would be applicable to Dickinson.  Especially so in her largest period of producing work, Dickinson did not submerge herself in people and around individuals.  Perhaps what we would consider to be reclusive and a stance that sought to isolate herself from society, Dickinson's life parallels the idea that there is selection of few with then   a "shut door" to more interaction with individuals.  It would make sense that others might wish to have been included in this small section of individuals, but Dickinson herself was extremely selective about human company, similar to the sentiments arising from the poem.  There can be some strong parallels between the basis of the poem and Dickinson's own life, but I still believe that it might not be the most accurate to automatically presume that all of a poet's work is completely reflective of their own life.  This is particularly so with a thinker like Dickinson.

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