Analysis Of Emily Dickinson 's `` Because I Could Not Stop For Death ``

1296 Words Oct 4th, 2016 6 Pages
Death is a frequently explored theme in poetry. Despite the prevalence of this theme, each poet has their own distinct viewpoint about it and portray it in such a way that reflects their beliefs. These differences are both in attitude towards death as well as the point of view of the speaker. Some authors take on an optimistic portrayal of death whereas others use a pessimistic perspective. Point of view can be either through the eyes of someone who has died or someone who has lost a loved one. The best portrayal an author can take, however, is a grounded and realistic one. Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I could not stop for Death” (1863) takes on an optimistic portrayal of death through the eyes of someone who has died. This is a contrast to how death is often portrayed when personified. Death is usually described as the Grim Reaper, a dark figure dressed in black, wielding a scythe while lurking in the shadows. These images conjure up fear in the minds of most people. Dickinson’s description of death is the complete opposite. Death is personified as kind and polite as opposed to dark and evil. Dickinson writes, “Because I could not stop for Death-/ He kindly stopped for me” (Dickinson 993). The language the speaker uses portrays Death not as a scary figure waiting for the opportunity to take anyone’s life, but a kind figure calmly waiting to bring someone to the afterlife. Not only does Dickinson present Death in an optimistic way, but she also describes the afterlife in…

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