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Comparative Study of Dickinson’s Life and Zhang Ailing’s Life

DOI: 10.4236/als.2017.52004, PP. 29-37

Keywords: Talented Women from Famous Families, Bumpy Love and Marriage, Gradual Seclusion

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Although Dickinson and the Chinese writer Zhang Ailing live in different times and space, there are many similarities between them. Both of them have surprising language talent and created many literary classics. Their attitudes to politics and war are similar. In their early life they have an active social life, but later both turn to the inner world and choose the introspective and seclusive way of life. On the basis of My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson by Alfred Habegger and Biography of Zhang Ailing by Yu Bin, the comparative method is used to analyze the similarities and dissimilarities between them. Both were born in famous families and well educated. Both have bumpy love and marriages. They have similar opinions in family, character, religion and politics, etc. Their seclusion is caused by many factors, such as family, character, politics, religion, love and marriage. There are two main differences between them: one difference is that Dickinson is much influenced by religion while Zhang Ailing is much influenced by politics; the other difference is that Dickinson stays at home and never worries about money all her life while Zhang Ailing wanders from place to place and struggles for life. Nobody is born a hermit. Their seclusion is made gradually.


[1]  Habegger, A. (2001). My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson (p.7, p.246, p.143, p.98, p.211, p.256, p.540). New York: The Modern Library.
[2]  Yu, B. (2013). Biography of Zhang Ailing (p.112, p.372). Beijing: People’s Literature Publishing House.


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