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Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Amherst Massachusetts in 1830 Her father Edward Dickinson was a prominent lawyer in Amherst and a well respected trustee of Amherst College Blankenship 576 Emily Dickinson was educated at Amherst Academy and for only a single year at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary now Mount Holyoke College under Mary Lyon Hart 224 Emily Dickinson was considered to be a high-spirited and energetic young woman until her withdrawal from society in 1850 After her withdrawal virtually all of her contact with friends and family existed through her letters and poems The traditional reason given for her seclusion was that she suffered a broken heart by the one true male love of her life Reverend Charles Wadsworth of Philadelphia McIntosh and Hart 2872-2873 She spent the majority of her days alone in her house until the year 1861 when she completely secluded herself and her poetry from the rest of the world The two types of religions present in Emily Dickinsons life Puritanism and Transcendentalism had great influence over her poetry Puritanism allowed Dickinson to remain grounded in her faith of God while Transcendentalism permitted her to release herself from limiting conceptions of humanity which enabled her to view herself as an individual with an identity To understand the complexities of Dickinsons works her relation to religion must be examined One of the major religious influences of Emily Dickinsons life was Puritanism While Puritanism emphasized human goodness because of a belief that something of God exists in everyone it also recognized the presence of evil in humans During the 1820s and 1830s the Second Great Awakening was in full force attempting to rejuvenate Puritan zeal through a series of religious revivals The two focuses of the Second Great Awakening were the relationship inside the person between the self and God and the relationship outside the person between the individual and community The Puritan religion consisted of a strictness in morality that verges
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