The Role of Belonging in Dickinson's Poetry and Jules' Music

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Belonging’s instinctive qualities are explored in the poetry of Emily Dickinson, which also highlights the reasons for pursuing belonging, including the need for emotional sustenance and self validation. On the other hand, the song “Mad World” by Gary Jules, communicates the daunting prospect of losing one’s individual identity as a consequence of belonging to a conformist society. Emily Dickinson’s poetry confirms belonging is a yearning, which most humans seek to satisfy simply because we are social beings. The statement “What mystery pervades a well!” from the poem of the same name, expresses the yearning for belonging by implying an empathic question and a longing for the “water”, which is a symbol for the epitome of life. Since…show more content…
The sheer complexity of the emotional aspects involved with belonging may be seen in the belonging estrangement paradox; highlighted by the fact “that those who know her know her less” and that those who attempt to understand belonging and nature are incapable of understanding nature’s “ghost” and hidden secrets. Dickinson seems to be looking into a “lid of glass”, the surface of the water, or what we perceive as life, and personifies the surface by calling it an “abyss’s face” highlighting life’s immeasurable depth, whilst also implying through the connotations of “glass” being similar to a mirror that we ourselves may never be able to understand our purpose and place in this life. In an attempt to understand nature Dickinson uses personification, describing nature as a female entity, to make it is easier to interact with something living rather than that which is inanimate. Unlike the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the song “Mad World” by Gary Jules explores the conformity of today’s society, which is shown to inevitably darken one’s outlook on life. Jules’ apathy reveals how this form of belonging is quite destructive; as he communicates that individuality becomes redundant in a world of anonymity. Jules’ exclamation of “I want to hide my head and drown my sorrows” exhibits the desperate desire to escape from the mundane and depressive atmosphere of a uniform society. The very title of this song, “Mad World”,

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