Differing Experiences of Death in "I Heard a Fly Buzz-When I Died" and "Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Dickinson,

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Emily Dickinson stands out from her contemporaries by discussing one of man's inevitable fears in an unconventional way: death. In two of her poems, "I heard a Fly buzz-when I died" and "Because I could not stop for Death," Dickinson expresses death in an unforeseen way. Although Dickinson portrays death in both of these poems, the way that she conveys the experience is quite different in each poem. Dickinson reveals death as a grim experience, with no glimpse of happiness once one's life is over in "I heard a Fly buzz-when I died." In contrast to this, Dickinson consoles the reader by characterizing death as a tranquil journey in "Because I could not stop for Death." However, despite this difference, Dickinson seduces and catches…show more content…
The carriage is not just a means of transportation, but it the last stage of human life before our souls are transported to the afterlife. Dickinson compares death, the most traumatic of human events, to an everyday carriage ride. Later in "Because I could not stop for Death," Dickinson hints to the reader that her setting is darkening as time goes on. This is much like one would expect death to look like. In line twelve Dickinson expresses this setting by stating that she and death, "Passed the setting sun." However, this leaves the reader with a conflicting question whether the sun was simply setting in its natural state, or if the carriage was moving underground. Dickinson uses this imagery to allow the reader to fill in the blanks that she purposely did not fill in. By using the setting sun as a symbol to foreshadow death, Dickinson creates a darker feeling to the poem. In lines seventeen to twenty, Dickinson uses a metaphor to compare a house to a grave. It is stated that, "We paused before a house that seemed/ A swelling of the ground;/ The roof was scarcely visible,/ The cornice but a mound." Instead of comparing a grave to something much scarier, such as a stockyard, Dickinson is able to create a sense of lightness to her poem. The reader is able to connect to a house and relate to the welcoming feeling that most houses

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