When so much of one’s life is left up to chance, it is nice to know that one can find certainty in death. Whereas life can be moulded to perfection and death is a guarantee, there is no way to tell what one will face following death. There are millions of different cultures, religions, and individual beliefs pertaining to the afterlife, but a definitive answer will never be known. The works of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson express two very unique interpretations of death and what follows. Both Whitman’s and Dickinson’s views of death include an idea of an afterlife, or of a continuation of the soul post death, but where Whitman welcomes the idea of demise without a trace of fear and his overall view of death is more mystical, Dickinson has a negative view of death and, at times, questions the possibility of an afterlife entirely.
In the poem “Because I could Not stop for Death”, Emily Dickinson describes death as an experience that she is looking back on. Dickinson uses a variety of elements, such as personification, imagery and irony to get her point across that death is not a dreadful event, but actually a pleasant experience. Although death is often perceived as being depressing and frightening, it should be viewed in a positive way realizing that it is the beginning of eternity.
Emily Dickinson once said, “Dying is a wild night and a new road.” Some people welcome death with open arms while others cower in fear when confronted in the arms of death. Through the use of ambiguity, metaphors, personification and paradoxes Emily Dickinson still gives readers a sense of vagueness on how she feels about dying. Emily Dickinson inventively expresses the nature of death in the poems, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain (280)”, “I Heard a fly Buzz—When I Died—(465)“ and “Because I could not stop for Death—(712)”.
In stanza three the speaker is preparing for a journey into an afterlife that may lie ahead. Dickinson writes, "I willed my keepsakes, signed away what portion of me I could make assignable, - and then there interposed a fly." After already dying the speaker feels that it is no longer a must to have the possessions that most living people deem necessary and leaves them behind as her soul comes closer to it?s fate. The speaker is getting ready to make this transition to the next world but then the fly reappears and puts a halt to this alteration. The final stanza of this poem includes the lines, "With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz, between the light and me; and then the windows failed, and then I could not see to see." The word light in this stanza can be associated with some heavenly existence or higher power that awaits the speaker.
Emily Dickinson a modern romantic writer, whose poems considered imaginative and natural, but also dark as she uses death as the main theme many times in her writings. She made the death look natural and painless since she wanted the reader to look for what after death and not be stuck in that single moment. In her poems imagination play a big role as it sets the ground for everything to unfold in a magical way. The speakers in Dickinson’s poetry, are sharp-sighted observers who see the inescapable limitations of their societies as well as their imagined and imaginable escapes. To make the abstract tangible, to define meaning without confining it, to inhabit a house that never became a prison, Dickinson created in her writing a distinctively elliptical language for expressing what was possible but not yet realized. She turned increasingly to this style that came to define her writing. The poems are rich in aphorism and dense
In opposition to “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, Dickinson published her work of “I Heard a Fly Buzz – When I Died”. In this particular piece of literature, the author disbeliefs in an afterlife. In this poem, a woman is lying on bed with her family surrounding her, waiting for the woman to pass away. The woman, however, is anxiously waiting for “…the kings”, meaning an omnipotent being. Finally when the woman dies, her eyes or windows, as referred in the poem, “could not see to see “. When the woman passes away, she couldn’t see any angels or gods as she expected would be there, but instead, she is fluttered into nothingness. She isn’t traveling to an afterlife as she had expected to unlike in the poem of “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. The woman finds out that death is a simple end to everything.
First, Emily Dickinson’s poetry1 continuously rejected society’s perception of death. As death approaches, the one entering eternity and those nearby are often scared
Around the world, people of all cultures, religions, and so on, each acquired their own beliefs on unique aspects of spirituality, and the life of a human and what happens after life on the planet. Though most people believe in a universal definition of life as being joyful, fruitful, and a positive subject, death, on the other hand, has numerous definitions between each person. Some people consider death to be morbid, horrifying, and a negative thing, whereas others celebrate death and believe that their soul will live forever. Each of the countless observations of life and death are portrayed in diverse types of literature. One contributor and writer of such literature includes Emily Dickinson. In her poems “Because I Could Not Stop for
Emily Dickinson concentrates many of her poems on the theme of death, predominantly her own. These “poems about death confront its grim reality with honesty, humor, curiosity, and above all a refusal to be comforted (“Emily Dickinson 1830-1886” 1659). While this was not an out of the ordinary topic during the American Romantic era, Dickinson seemed near obsessive in her focus. Additionally, Dickinson seems questionable in her thoughts on religion, another theme popular during the American Romantic era. Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for death” and “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” both explicitly examine the concept of death, the afterlife, and the author’s obsession with the melancholy.
Many individuals travel through life with a deep feeling of doubt concerning exactly what happens to humanity after death. This reservation is deliberated in further detail in the following sonnet by Emily Dickinson. Similar to many of Dickinson’s poetry works, “This World is not Conclusion” deals with the theme of death. One issue with the theme, however, is that normal sonnets are centered on a form of love. This sonnet focuses instead on having faith in the unseen. The beginning twelve lines expound on the speaker’s belief of life after death and the mysteriousness of the concept that causes a feeling of doubt. As the reader continues to examine the sonnet, lines thirteen through sixteen, the speaker seems to have a change of heart and
This is symbolic of her looking at death as a new beginning as opposed to a sad ending. There is a feeling of disappointment as she thinks that she is going towards eternity but she just ends up viewing the “House that Seemed a Swelling of the Ground” and then centuries later, reflects upon her journey towards and eternity she didn’t witness. To Dickinson death was not something to be afraid of but to rather embrace and accept because it was inevitable, yet as in her life ends up disappointed because death leads to nothingness.
Emily Dickinson is considered to be one of the greatest poets of figurative language and imagery. I found her poem “Because I could Not Stop for Death” to be an exemplary illustration of those forms of writing. Enlaced with the personifications of Death, Immortality, and Eternity; Dickinson reaches into the depths of the reader’s psyche and transports them on a journey into her world of life after death. In this essay, I will attempt to show that due to certain event that occurred towards the end of her life that death’s arrival; although premature, was a welcomed relief and set the tone of the poem. The negative attributes that are normally associated with the arrival of death are replaced with a memorable carriage ride to meet the narrator’s eternity. The figurative writing within the poem leaves plenty of room for different interpretations of its meaning; however, Dickinson leave many key indicators within the symbolism and figurative language of the poem to convey a clear understanding, that is once you analyze all the facts.
Emily Dickinson is one of the most important American poets of the 1800s. Dickinson, who was known to be quite the recluse, lived and died in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts, spending the majority of her days alone in her room writing poetry. What few friends she did have would testify that Dickinson was a rather introverted and melancholy person, which shows in a number of her poems where regular themes include death and mortality. One such poem that exemplifies her “dark side” is, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. In this piece, Dickinson tells the story of a soul’s transition into the afterlife showing that time and death have outright power over our lives and can make what was once significant become meaningless.
Two of Emily Dickinson’s poems, “I heard a Fly buzz-when I died” and “Because I could not stop for Death” are both written about life’s stopping point, death. Although the poems are written by the same poet, both poems view death in a different manner. Between the two poems, one views death as having an everlasting life while the other anticipates everlasting life, only to realize it does not exist. While both poems are about death, both poems also illustrate that the outcome of death is a mysterious experience that can only be speculated upon with the anticipation of everlasting life.
Death is a controversial and sensitive subject. When discussing death, several questions come to mind about what happens in our afterlife, such as: where do you go and what do you see? Emily Dickinson is a poet who explores her curiosity of death and the afterlife through her creative writing ability. She displays different views on death by writing two contrasting poems: one of a softer side and another of a more ridged and scary side. When looking at dissimilar observations of death it can be seen how private and special it is; it is also understood that death is inevitable so coping with it can be taken in different ways. Emily Dickinson’s poems “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and “I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died” show both