Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

William McMahon, Nancy Davis, Dorothy McMahon

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


When I decided to write a thesis on Emily Dickinson's poetry, my intention was to show that she did, indeed, implement a concrete philosophy into her poetry. However, after several months of research, I realized that this poet's philosophy was ongoing and sometimes inconsistent. Emily Dickinson never discovered the answers to all of her religious and spiritual questions although she devoted her entire life to that pursuit. What Dickinson did discover was that orthodox religion had no place in her heart or mind and she must make her own choices where God was concerned. Immortality was an intense fascination to Emily, and many of her poems are related to that subject. In fact, the majority of Dickinson's poems deal, in some way, with spirituality. Emily Dickinson is a poet who deserves to be studied on the basis of her philosophical pursuits as well as her style. Dickinson scholarship has improved in the past several decades; however, Emily Dickinson has yet to receive the attention she deserves as a philosopher and thinker.


Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Literature in English, North America | Philosophy | Religion