It's possible. Did her preference for people and social intercourse just dwindle to the point beyond pleasure or even normalcy, doing so along some natural stream of character? Of course, it's possible. It's possible she felt some angst living among her neighbors, some discordancy, some lack of commonality. But is that sufficient reason to bar herself from their sight? Henry Wells in his Introduction to Emily Dickinson, says:
She became excessively shy, avoided crowds, had small liking for church, and wilfully shut herself up within her own house and grounds. Here Miss Dickinson received visitors on occasions, although with an odd habit of ensconcing them in the drawing room while she herself sat in the hall.I reminded of The Scarlet Letter. I can construct a scene in which Emily is shunned by the smallness of Amherst. Look at the bleakness permeating this verse:
To break so vast a heart
Required a blow as vast;
No zephyr felled this cedar straight,
"Twas undeserved blast.
This strikes me by a reference to some external injury to her soul. Some "thing" precipitated her seclusion. Some "thing" caused her despair. The two are wrapped together. Was her seclusion voluntary or was it ostracism? Did she make a choice? If so, why? What drove her to this refusal to participate?
So often, her poetry makes despair and love a conjugal state. Take this verse from "The Infinite Aurora":
Love is like life, merely longer;This is preceded by an acquiescence to living among the living:
Love is like death, daring the grave;
Love is the fellow of the resurrection
Scooping up the dust and chanting "Live!"
When one has given up one's lifeWhy give up her life? Why give up "others"? Was hers a consciousness that equated love and life, and made the absence of love a despair leading to the absence of life? I'm not convinced of that.
The parting with the rest
We shun because we prize her face
Lest proof's ineffable disgrace
Our adoration stain.
#244, "Italic Faces" from Bolts of Melody