Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

William L. Frank, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Craig C. Challender, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Massie C. Stinson, Ph.D.


The majority of Emily Dickinson’s poems deal with love, immortality, and death. There is no doubt that she was preoccupied with two distinct subjects, death and immortality. An important point that this thesis stresses is the fact that Emily’s preoccupation did not muffle her senses, but instead enlivened them. It is essential that one must consider the biographical influences that affected Emily throughout her life, but even more importantly, one must also recognize the correlation between Emily’s preoccupation with these two subjects and the deaths of so many of her closest friends. Due to this, her death and immortality poems should be viewed as a product of the culmination of all of these influences upon her developing mind.



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