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“THAT DARK PARADE”: EMILY DICKINSON AND THE VICTORIAN "CULT OF DEATH”

By: DeGrasse, Carol M [author].
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Scholar Works at UT Tyler, 2017-05-05T07:00:00ZDescription: 1 online resource text file, PDF.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceSubject(s): Emily Dickinson | Nineteenth-century poetry | poetry | Victorian Cult of Death | Nineteenth-century American literature | death | American Literature | Cultural History | English Language and Literature | United States HistoryOnline resources: Thesis Click here to view this thesis. Dissertation note: M.A., University of Texas at Tyler, 2017. Summary: The elegiac poems of Emily Dickinson provide what is perhaps the clearest depiction of the conflicting emotions inherent to the death-conscious nineteenth century. In one such poem, Dickinson’s oxymoronic phrase, “Dark Parade,” encapsulates the spirit of a social movement that was born of a desire to comfort the grief-stricken and to beautify the horrific. Throughout Dickinson’s corpus of elegiac poetry, the speaker echoes these sentiments and crafts an insightful portrait, juxtaposing the stark horror of death with the ethereal beauty of ceremony. As Dickinson’s elegies are traced over time, the poems develop as microcosmic representations of a grieving nation, as the speaker resacralizes the corruption of the death scene in the domestic realm. Particularly through her death-bed narratives, the poet exemplifies the paradox that was the 1800s-death scene, the “Dark Parade.” Carefully placed together, the two simple words create an image—couched within the ostentatious display of ritual and deeply embedded in the v disconsolate setting of mourning. In doing so, Dickinson’s speaker captures the essence of the nineteenth-century Victorian “cult of death.”
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Item type Current location Collection Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
UT Tyler Thesis UT Tyler Online
Online
University Archives & Special Collections PN80 .D44 2017 (Browse shelf) http://hdl.handle.net/10950/574 Available

M.A., University of Texas at Tyler, 2017.

Includes bibliographic references.

The elegiac poems of Emily Dickinson provide what is perhaps the clearest depiction of the conflicting emotions inherent to the death-conscious nineteenth century. In one such poem, Dickinson’s oxymoronic phrase, “Dark Parade,” encapsulates the spirit of a social movement that was born of a desire to comfort the grief-stricken and to beautify the horrific. Throughout Dickinson’s corpus of elegiac poetry, the speaker echoes these sentiments and crafts an insightful portrait, juxtaposing the stark horror of death with the ethereal beauty of ceremony. As Dickinson’s elegies are traced over time, the poems develop as microcosmic representations of a grieving nation, as the speaker resacralizes the corruption of the death scene in the domestic realm. Particularly through her death-bed narratives, the poet exemplifies the paradox that was the 1800s-death scene, the “Dark Parade.” Carefully placed together, the two simple words create an image—couched within the ostentatious display of ritual and deeply embedded in the v disconsolate setting of mourning. In doing so, Dickinson’s speaker captures the essence of the nineteenth-century Victorian “cult of death.”

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