College Essay: Barnard College

Prompt: Pick one woman in history or fiction to converse with for an hour and explain your choice. What would you talk about?

If Emily Dickinson were to break her peaceful rest of 125 years to talk to me, I’d ask her if she ever regretted her loneliness, if she isolated herself to prevent a heart from breaking, and if she feels dreary now that she is somebody. We would share our thoughts on the changes between the 19th and 21st century, and despite our differences in age and ethnicity, we’d both agree that writing speaks louder and more easily than speech. I want to learn when and how she wrote her most popular pieces, and I’d ask her what mood and setting she was in when she wrote her best works. But even after an hour of conversation with a woman of such few words, I would understand her no more than her acquaintances did, for she would probably ask me to buy her a one-way ticket so she could return home to Amherst, Massachusetts and continue her writing in peace.

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