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Emily Dickinson: Personification Of Death

Decent Essays
Emily Dickinson personified death in the poem “Because I could not stop for Death” by representing death as a person.

“Because I Could Not Stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;” In this poem the speaker is communicating as someone who as seen both sides of life,the real life and after life. Because she could not stop for Death—“), death takes the time to do what she cannot, and stops for her. This deep thought that Death shows in taking time out for her leads her to lay aside things that had made her so busy—“And I had put away My labor and my leisure too”—so they can just enjoy this carriage ride.
It is notted in the first stanza that the in the carriage its just two of them, she and death, doubly so because of the internal rhyme in
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He arrives in a carriage with Immortality to take the author to her grave. Death is formal and gentle, with the author telling us of “his civility.” The stracture of the poem and the personification of Death alludes to Dickinson’s comfort with the subject; she seems to regard death as a change in mind, rather than a total departure. The last stanza shows that Dickinson regards death as eternity, rather than a final end. In short, Death in this poem is not something to be feared, but should be taken as something…show more content…
He is no frightening, or even intimidating, but is seen as a courteous and gentle guide, leading her to eternity. The speaker feels no fear when Death picks her up in his carriage, she takes it positively as an act of kindness, as she was too busy to find time for him. This is explicitly stated, as it is “For His Civility” that she puts away her “labor” and her “leisure,” which is Dickinson using metonymy to represent another alliterative word— her life. The next stanza shows the life is not so great, as this quiet, slow carriage ride is contrasted with what she sees as they go. A school scene of children playing, which could be emotional, is a simple show of the difficulty of life—although the children are playing “At Recess,” the verb she uses is “strove,” insisting on the labors of existence. The use of anaphora with “We passed” also insists on the tiring repetitiveness of mundane routine. The next stanza tells us on the rather controversial side of life—things become cold and more sinister, the speaker’s dress is not thick enough to warm or protect her. Yet it quickly becomes clear that though this part of death—the coldness, and the next stanza’s image of the grave as home—may not be ideal, it is worth it, for it leads to the next stanza, which ends with immortality. Hundreds of years feel no different than a day. Because time is gone, the speaker can still feel that moment of realization, that death
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