Because I Could Not Stop for Death

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Emily Dickinson Because I Could Not Stop For Death.

In this poem Dicksons ‘speaker’ is communicating from beyond the grave describing her journey with Death, personified, from life to afterlife. In the opening lines of the first stanza the ‘speaker’ is too busy for death and he “kindly” stops for her. “Death” stops for her as she does not have the time suggesting that no one is truly ready for death . Throughout the poem death is personified as a gentlemen or suitor who is there to escort her into the afterlife, it is clear who has the power in the relationship He decides when the carriage stops and the speed of the carriage. She "could not stop for Death", which signifies her powerlessness and lack of choice.

The Carriage ride in the first stanza is the start of the ‘speakers’ journey into the afterlife. In the third stanza we see insights into the world that the speaker is leaving which represent the three stages of life. “school where children strove... passed fields of gazing grain... passed the setting sun.” The school represents childhood and innocence of youth, the fields of gazing grain represent child turning into adults, we passed the setting sun represents the end of life. The alliterations and the repetition of we passed help to reinforce the metaphor that Dickson is trying to get a across to the reader.

Throughout the poem Dickinson capitalizes words to hint at their importance but also it helps to emphasize the words and make the reader think about them and why they were chosen to be capitalized.

at the opening of the fourth stanza, she corrects this“Or rather He passed Us because she has stopped existing and now is only and a observer of life in her carriage and living, and a part of the landscape. In this stanza, after the realization of her new place in the world, her death also becomes suddenly very physical, as “The Dews drew quivering and chill,” and she explains that her dress is only gossamer, which is a thin material showing...
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