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 the reader off guard by speaking of death in an unconventional way. Emily Dickinson masters describing a traumatic human event in the most mundane terms, with the help of literary devices such as imagery and language.

With her use of imagery, Emily Dickinson is able to govern how the reader feels and reflects about death. In her poem, "Because I could not stop for Death," the word "could" signifies that death has occurred as a past experience. Due to this poem being based on a past event, Dickinson is able to use imagery to relate death to a fresh memory of hers. In the beginning of the poem, Dickinson writes, "Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me." Not only does Dickinson portray death as a man, but…