Emily Dickinson's Feelings About Death Revealed in Her Poem, Because I could not stop for Death

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Emily Dickinson's Feelings About Death Revealed in Her Poem, Because I could not stop for Death Emily Dickinson grew up in New England in the late 1800s. The nineteenth century was a difficult time period for the people of America. There was an abundance of war, epidemic, and death. Because her house was located beside a graveyard, Dickinson saw many of the elaborate funeral processions as they passed (Murray). Because of these experiences, death became very real to her, and it made a large impression on her life. Conrad Aikin, one of the many critics of Dickinson's work, believes that: "Death and the problem of life after death obsessed her" (15). She had a very peculiar idea about eternity that was unlike any of the traditional…show more content…
Personification is a type of figurative language one uses to give abstract ideas human-like characteristics. Dickinson uses personification in this poem because it allows the reader to understand death in a more intimate way. Death became so real to her and to her contemporaries because of the time in which she lived. Through her life experiences, the poet became intimate with death. Because of all the disease and epidemics in her lifetime, many of her loved ones passed away. These deaths were very "intense breaks in her life" (Murray). Some critics suggest that the death of her cousin was the inspiration for this poem (Semansky). In any event, death had a large impact on Dickinson's life. This impact explains why she writes so descriptively about it. In this poem, death is personified as a gentleman caller taking the lady out for a carriage ride. This personification gives the reader a better image of the writer's idea of the coming of death. Dickinson gives Death many characteristics that help to shape our image of him. The line "He kindly stopped for me" in the first stanza, immediately gives a male gender (2). This male image gives the reader the traditional idea of the gentleman caller. This line also reveals a kind quality of death. The kind quality is important throughout this poem because it allows the speaker to
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