Dickinson Because I Could Not Stop For Death Essay

Essay about Because I could not stop for Death, by Emily Dickinson

1137 Words5 Pages

‘Because I could not stop for Death—,’ A Poem of Both Marriage and Death

When thinking of both marriage and death, the word “eternity” comes to mind. Marriage is looked at as a symbol of eternal love, and death is looked at as a state of eternal rest. Also, Christians consider life after death as an eternal state. In “Because I could not stop for Death—,” Emily Dickinson portrays death by describing an eternal marriage.

On the literal level, the speaker remembers a time where she was carried off and eloped with a man called Death and his partner in crime, Immortality. Not realizing that going with Death meant that she would have to leave this world and live with him in his house forever, she shows herself as being immature at…show more content…

It was “A Swelling of the Ground--” and “ The roof was barely visible—“. The turning point of the poem was a flashback, when she says, “ Since then—‘tis Centuries—and yet/Feels shorter than the Day/I first surmised the Horses’ Heads/Were toward Eternity—“(21-24). This flashback lets the reader know that she is looking back on that day almost as if she is sad. Centuries have passed, yet that day seems longer than any time that has passed.

This poem clearly functions as an allegory. On a symbolic level, it was easy to grasp that this poem was a recollection of the speaker’s death. Dickinson describes this death so well it is almost as if she is writing about her own death. The main clue that this was a poem of death was that she got in a carriage with two guys whose names just happened to be Death and Immortality. Death symbolizes the passing away of the body, and Immortality represents the Christian belief that the body dies but the soul is immortal.

When the speaker states, “Because I could not stop for Death—/He kindly stopped for me—,” she implies that most people do not stop to think about their death. People go on with their busy lives and do not talk or think about death because they are afraid of it. So Death must stop and “kindly” ask people into his carriage. After she went into his carriage, Dickinson goes on to portray what the speaker sees as she is dying. Contrary to the speaker’s busy and fast life, line five

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Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson Essay

651 Words3 Pages

Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson's poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death," is an interesting composition of the English language which commands respect and critical examination. This literary work deals with mortality and retrospect of one's life. It begins with the speaker's recollection of the day she died, now viewed from the level of eternity. She is looking back on how things used to be, almost with a sense of completion, as if her life has come to a satisfactory close. In the beginning, she speaks of how Death shows up at her door unexpectedly and kindly escorts her out to a carriage, marking her entrance into the afterlife. She then goes on to discuss her ride in the…show more content…

The revealing nature of her gown is much like a sexual quest, baring herself to her lover, which in this case is Death. Dickinson's use of the expiration of life as something to be romanticized is a focal point of the poem which leaves readers mesmerized. Next, a clear and concise poetic rhythm makes this poem very enticing to its audience. The author does not let her audience stray from the story, keeping everything in a logical order which is easy to follow. Dickinson walks readers step by step through the stages of entering the "other side" of reality. She begins by telling of how the carriage arrives, moving on to discuss her feelings as she encounters them. At first she is surprised at the punctuality of Death. She did not realize that this day would be her last, but wonder quickly gives way to acceptance, leading her to reflect on her earthly years. She recalls her childhood, adolescence, and maturing stages of life. Then, the poem leaves you with references to her ripened years of age, finally resting with the resolve of her death. Each image is defined, giving readers detailed mental images of her ideas. In turn, it causes one to reflect on their own perception of existence and its fragility. All the while, she never strays from her primary concern, which is comparing the beginning of life with its mysterious ending. Lastly, this poetic composition is

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