Emily Dickinson 's Poem, Because I Could Not Stop For Death

Decent Essays

Emily Dickinson is known for writing poems that relate to death and dying, and the poem “Because I could not stop for death” is no exception. This is a narrative poem that illustrates the passage from life to death as a carriage ride through a quiet town. In this particular poem, the speaker has already passed away and is remembering what seems to be a fond memory, however that is not revealed till the final stanza. There are only two characters, The speaker and Death. The speaker is a lady who is reminiscing on a carriage ride she took with Death. She conveys her ride in a very light manner, almost as one would of a pleasant first date. Her tone is very calm and she seems almost at ease, as she and Death take a slow ride through town. She introduces Death in the first stanza as if he was a gentleman with manners. Throughout the entire poem Death is personified as a polite man. This is first implied in Line 2 when the speaker says “he kindly stopped for me-”. Hearing this can also suggest to the readers that the speaker is not afraid of death but perhaps even relieved “he” had finally arrived. There is no evidence to suggest how this particular lady in the poem died. However in Line 5, when the speaker says, “We drove slowly- He knew no haste”, could be inferred that she died slowly, maybe from a terminal sickness. As they are riding along they pass children playing in the school yard, fields of grain, and the setting sun. Finally at the end of the poem, they reach their

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