Emily Dickinson 's Because I Could Not Stop For Death Essays

832 Words Nov 21st, 2014 4 Pages
There is seldom any poet that can lay claim to as many deaths as Emily Dickinson. Her short, albeit rich, poetry is riddled with accounts of inner turmoil and a wide-range of dark subjects, such as depression and death. Historically, Dickinson comes across as a morbid recluse, clad in white and obsessed with mortality (“Emily Dickinson” 481). Though it was not unusual, for someone of her time, to be so conscious of death. In fact, in the 1850s, most of life was spent in mournful preparation of the inevitable. In one particular poem, “Because I Could Not Stop For Death”, Emily Dickinson brings forth a new perspective on the end of life with the “strategic use of the past tense linked to the survival of the narrator to imagine the experience of death” (Nesteruk 32). This poem of six short stanzas depicts the narrator’s transition to the afterlife in an unexpectedly fresh light. Emily Dickinson uses personification, an ingenious play on syntax, and a light tone to bring life to Death, and romanticize the typically dreadful unknown of mortality as a natural journey to post-mortem immortality. In the first sentence of “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, Emily Dickinson gently introduces her readers to one of the main characters of the poem: Death. It is safe to say that, during the poet’s time, humans were especially devoted to religious ideology, and thus fearful of death and judgment. Religion aside, humans naturally fear the unknown, especially in the 1800s when the topic…

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