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Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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Every major religion has an answer to what is expect in death. However, contrary to major religious beliefs the reality is that no one knows when death will come or exactly what death entails - because those that die cannot communicate with the living. This is precisely the issue that Emily Dickinson tackles in her poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. The speaker begins by offering a sanguine outlook in the eyes of death, however, the speaker eventually rejects her initial optimism. Dickinson wrote this poem to offer a lesson to the reader that no amount of preparation will transcend deaths reality and to not let the ignorance of human intellect distract from our inability to understand death until we face it. As a way to,…show more content…
Not only does she seem to believe immortality is awaiting her, she is strong in her opinion, as the sentence ends in a period revealing that she is serious and near certain in her belief. In this first stanza, the inability to fully understand what Death has done and what death has in store for the speaker can relate directly to the message of the poem as a whole. That death is nothing like what we can image or comprehend. In the second and third stanza a similar description of the speaker’s misunderstandings is employed. In the second stanza, the speaker describes that death has shown her “Civility” because death has given her a full life (Line 8). She states that she “put away” her “labor”, meaning that she lived long enough that she was no longer required to work and long enough that she could pursue her passions and after “put away” her “leisure” (Line 6, 7). However, death often is not very courteous or polite as the word “Civility” describes (Line 8). Death isn’t the type to hold open a door or give someone more time, death is not polite it is jarring. The fact that death isn’t fair, that it takes without offering us a chance to live again, is another reason death is so elusive and hard to understand. These inconsistencies in the reality of death and the depiction of death by the speaker is another example of how Dickinson
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