Spirited Away (2001 Film)

Identity and Isolation from Society: Evaluating Emily Dickinson's Poetry and 'Spirited Away' 11th Grade

An individual’s sense of identity is shaped by many contributing factors, including interactions with society, as well as self-isolation, both which play a fundamental role in strengthening one's sense of individuality and self-representation. Emily Dickinson lived in Amherst during the 19th century at a time when Puritan values dictated heavily on an individual's life. Through her poems The Soul Selects her Own Society, This is My Letter, and I Had Been hungry All the Years, it is evident that both society and isolation as well as her choices influenced Emily’s development of identity. Similar ideas are presented in Hayao Miyazaki’s 2002 film Spirited Away, the female protagonist, Chihiro, strengthens develops her identity by being forcibly isolated from her own society when she is trapped in that of the Spirit Realm.

When an individual’s interaction with society involves challenging the social and cultural norms their sense of self flourishes as they recognise their individuality and embrace it. Through Emily Dickinson’s poems it is clear she challenged the cultural norms of Puritanism, as although she was an avid church goer through her early 20’s, by her early 30’s she embraced Transcendentalist values and turned to nature...

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