The desire for one to belong is universal and may refer to the physical, psychological or spiritual sense of acceptance and connectedness of an individual which may be restricted or embraced. This notion is successfully emphasized throughout Emily Dickinson’s Poem 82 ‘I have been hungry all the years,’ and the chosen related text ‘The Island’, These texts all succeed in highlighting aspects of belonging and not belonging, in terms of how it is heavily influenced by a variety of external factors, such as connections made with people, places, groups and the larger world of acceptance and rejection. Throughout the composers’ sophisticated utilisation of various literary techniques, we as the responder ultimately gain a greater understanding of the concept of belonging, and how it functions to bring about meaning, in relation to the challenge to belong.
The challenge to belong is thoroughly explored in the poems composed by Emily Dickinson. Poem 82 by Emily ‘I have been hungry all the years’ aims to demonstrate the concept of not belonging, in the sense that the intrinsic part of the human condition is to seek and be fulfilled by a sense of belonging, yet the complexity lies within the willingness of an individual to relinquish some of their identity to conform. Dickinson’s purpose of this composition is to highlight the difficulty to belong and to ultimately challenge the socially held notions of the time, referring to the context of her society, focusing on strict religion and traditions. The extended metaphor of hunger, is featured in the quote ‘I have been hungry all the years, my noon had come to dine’. This technique effectively highlights humanity’s innate desire of experiencing a sense belonging, as it is a biological process integral towards the human condition embrace the challenge to belong. ‘Noon’ functions throughout symbolism, which is depictive of the highpoint in the persona’s life, whilst ‘come to dine’ contrarily insinuates her conclusive...
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