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Analysis and comments on The Soul selects her own Society by Emily Dickinson

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The soul selects her own society ... #303

The soul (or in a more modern reference -The brain) chooses its soul- mate,
friend or lover as the case may be and then closes shut the door. The
choice is made and is irrevocable. Dickinson is suggesting that for her,
the soul became fixed at some point in her life and remained so. From a
physiological point of view, neural cells are hard wired at birth and as we
live, as we experience, input causes them to form structural connections
that last for an indefinite period of time Physiology did not exist as a
science during her lifetime. We only learned that the brain is composed of
cells in 1922 and how the individual nerve cell conducts signals in 1949
and are only now exploring what brain cells do - their individual and
collective functions. Emily is suggesting that brain function becomes
fixed. We now see a more complex situation. The divorce rate attests to
the fact that people change their mind. Love may have some constancy, but
it is also plastic.
New connections are made or at least modified by new input. It is somewhat
like a stone house; the structure, the stones remains, but the interior
does get altered.

Things change-hardly anything ever remains completely unchanged.
From another point of view, the concept of time suggests that events,
decisions get made and then become part of the past- they become history
and cannot be changed. We can, however, make new decisions that counteract
old decisions.

Anyway, Emily is a bit ahead of herself or of the physiology of her time.
Dickinson is suggesting that for her, the soul was fixed at some point in
her life and remained so.

Joe DiMattio

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Information about The Soul selects her own Society

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 303. The Soul selects her own Society
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 159 times
Poem of the Day: Jul 2 2008

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