I felt a Funeral, in my Brain Historical Context

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Although biographers have debated the different ways in whichDickinson's reading habits affected her work, almost all concur that the single most important author that influenced her poetry was the American philosopher, poet, and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882). To understand the intellectual climate ofDickinson's time, one cannot avoid an examination of this important American thinker.

Emerson was one of the founders of transcendentalism, a loose but dynamic philosophy which, in many ways, was a reaction to what its followers saw as the stifling Puritanism of America's past and, specifically, the rigid attention to reason urged by eighteenth-century enlightenment writers. Above all, transcendentalists believed in the divinity of human beings and the supremacy of the individual. Unlike enlightenment thinkers, who held that the world could only be perceived and understood through observation and rationality, transcendentalists were more like the European romantics in their focus...

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This section contains 644 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the I felt a Funeral, in my Brain Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.