Breaking The Silence Essay, Research Paper
Breaking the silence
Intimacy and sexuality are the most important aspects of our life, our sex lives affect all other spheres and often determines a sense of our adequacy. However, as human beings, Christian morality has left a deep influence on the development of the modern individual. Christianity has always prohibited open portrayal of human sexual feelings and activities. Sex, as a theme has always been a taboo subject. Which was an inappropriate topic for discussion and indecent portrayal. The twentieth century brought a sexual revolution. That ripped off the ties of Christians that had fettered the brains and shackled the behavior of previous generations.
Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson both explored un-conventional themes and explicitly expressed their feelings and desires regarding intimacy. Both of them shared the deep feeling that portrayed human emotions and world wouldn t be adequate unless the potent theme of sexual desires is exposed. They both break through barriers, that supposedly protects humans from nature s force. Both of them are rebels against social control. They declared their right to be sincere and really truthful when contemplating their emotions and feelings about their sexual desires. The two poems used sex as rebellion against the conventional Christian ethics of the time, which portrayed sex as a shameful act. One of the biggest factors that both of the authors shared were the double meaning words that were used to create metaphoric symbols. Emily Dickinson went against more things at once then any man or woman had in her time. In her time, a woman wasn t even supposed to think or talk of such things as sex. Emily not only discussed it, but also wrote poetry about it. One would call Emily one of the first true feminists.
Even though both poets acted as revolutionaries in exploring their sexual worlds, they touched upon this subject from different perspectives. Emily Dickinson, who had Victorian and Christian upbringing, defied the conservative morality of her time and society. That viewed a woman as devoid of any sexual feelings and considered it utterly indecent and inappropriate for a lady to express any sexual desire. Dickinson states clearly that sex is a good thing. Being a woman, she is concerned with the spiritual side of her feelings. She is not explicit in her poetry about the physical nature of love. Instead she penetrates the world of emotion. The life of the soul is undoubtfully more important to her than any physical actions that go along with sex. The author concentrates on depicting her inner world, which amounts to Biblical heights. The mention of Ethereal Blow shows that. The turbulence of her soul completed her. Her imagery of sexuality is vividly poetic yet at the same time poetic and discrete to her personal inner feelings. Her vision goes beyond sexual; it reaches to the height of the universe. The poem rejects the Christian notion that premarital sex is dirty and sinful. Dickinson s poem describes sex as a spiritually euphoric experience. The fact that she, a nineteenth century unmarried woman, so openly discussed her sexual experiences was a profound political statement. Robert Frost, on the other hand, doesn t try to write in a romantic way as Emily does. His imagery is extremely vivid and wild. In his poem The Subverted Flower , there are so many details that are not needed to make a good poem.
Emily Dickinson was an outsider in her poetry. She lived in her father s house all of her life. The feelings she described were probably the product of her imagination. No one will ever know the truth. The emphases of the emotional and spiritual side of sexual feelings are typical of a woman s approach to the subject.
Robert Frost, on the other hand, puts himself forward and at the same time stays in the background. In The Subverted Flower Robert Frost seems to be telling a tale about two youngsters exploring their forbidden sexuality. The two youngsters chose to break the sexual taboos and morality of their time without exploring who is truly right and who is wrong . Even though the girl in the story was hostile at first, she gave in very quickly without thinking of why it was wrong. When the mother s presence became known, the reaction of the two characters shows that they were aware that their behavior would be seen as wrong, yet they continued. One would believe that it was a deeper metaphor where the mother is society and the teenagers represent rebellion against the social norms. The theme of sexual exploration and its discussion reaches the climax in The Subverted Flower which was published in 1942. The poem is very disturbing and unconventional. Robert Frost is very explicit in describing sexual encounter between the two unwed teens. For that time the act itself was demeaning and full of disgrace, and the mother in the story shows that. However, the poet doesn t find it infamous or dishonorable. He uses poetic terms in his descriptions. If one doesn t analyze the poem as we did, he wouldn t see the perversion in it. The narrator seems to sympathize with the woman in the tale. He calls the man a beast, dog and that he has features as those of a pig (snout). Natural impulses seem bestial and savage and portrayed as a malevolent element. The writer exposed a deep sense of struggle flaming inside of his soul. The poem is told as a story as its being viewed from the outside.
In conclusion, both writers reached the top in describing human sexuality using different approaches and perspectives. Rebelling against the rigid codes of morality, controlling and limiting expression of natural human feelings. They stand out as revolutionaries in describing the complexity of human life.
1) Dickinson, Emily. He fumbles at your Soul The Complete
Poems of Emily Dickinson. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1890.148
2) Frost, Robert. The Subverted Flower The Poetry of Robert
Frost. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969.339-41