Because I Could Not Stop for Death

700 WordsApr 23, 20193 Pages
Read over "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson. 1. List as many examples of metaphors and similes as possible. The carriage, in stanza 1, is a metaphor for a hearse. When they “passed the setting sun” (12) it implies that she has finally died. When they “paused before a house that seemed / A swelling of the ground” (17-18), the word house is a metaphor for grave. 2. Explain the personification. In Emily Dickinson's poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, death is personified in an unusual way. Instead of the expected dark, evil, Grim-reaper depiction of death, Dickinson portrayed him as more of a gentleman. Death became a character, able to carry out a human action, who “kindly stopped” (2) for the speaker,…show more content…
Dickinson's use of diction in this case displayed the speaker's calmness, even though she was looking at her own grave. Perhaps she was trying to tell the reader that death and the grave is not something to be feared. 2. At the start of the poem, the speaker told us how Death “kindly stopped for [her]” (2), and in a carriage no less. Following the theme of death and graves, the reader could perhaps surmise that this carriage symbolizes a hearse. However, this was no ordinary hearse. The speaker described how “The carriage held but just [themselves] / And Immortality” 3-4). The presence of Immortality transforms the carriage from an earthly, physical form of transportation into something more transcendental. In fact, this was confirmed in the final stanza of the poem, when she said that on the day of her death she “first surmised the horses' heads / Were toward eternity” (23-24). The horses were, of course, the ones pulling the carriage, which means that the coach itself was headed toward eternity. Also, the use of the word carriage instead of hearse played into the personification of death as a gentleman or a suitor. 4. Discuss the poem's meaning as best you can on your own without reviewing critical materials on-line or in books. What is most important is that you learn to develop your own critical eye, and your own ability to review poems for meaning. Your ideas and opinions matter, provided
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