Outlook On Death In Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop For Death

Great Essays
Sabrina Butler
Professor Adams
English 103
5/14/15
Outlook on Death in Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”
Death is considered by many to be the heartbreaking termination of existence; the moment when one is compelled to despair, to concede loss, and yield to the inescapable. As discouraging as this outlook on death may appear, one may be amazed at why Emily Dickinson preferred to make death one among the major themes in her poems. Because numerous poets of the 19th century composed about death, Dickinson was not exceptional in opting for this idea. Nevertheless, she was exceptional when it was about how she composed on death. Dickinson concentrated on Eternity and the “hereafter” part of death; she was positive and deemed death
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The audience can visualize being in the wagon, listening to and sensing the horses’ clip-clop-clip-clop gallop. The poem’s six verses are arranged in quatrains; 8-6-8-6 is their syllabic composition, hence directing the poem in an established manner up to its conclusion. Moreover, the iambic tetrameter (within each verse’s lines 1 and 3) plus the iambic trimester (lines 2 and 4) get the audience back to the relaxed but unwavering pace of the horses. The first lines “Because I could not stop for Death- / He kindly stopped for me-” (1, 2) create a rhythm that keeps on advancing the poem frontward up to the concluding lines “I first surmised the Horses’ Heads / Were toward Eternity-” (23, 24) are done; from its opening to its conclusion, the poem’s rhythm is resolute. The poet adds to the poem’s rhythm by generating clear images of a wagon journey to a woman’s ultimate place of rest. Dickinson makes use of personification to render each image exact and plain; the poem is comparable to a scrapbook containing assorted pictures that convey a narrative. Death, Perpetuity, and the Sun are personalized; human attributes are given to them, hence making the poem alive. Deth is portrayed as a compassionate and polite driver, whereas Perpetuity is traveling alongside the woman in the wagon; the …show more content…
Of interesting note is that Dickinson’s tone as regards death differs from that of her era. According to Farr, individuals of the poet’s age perceived death to be “a skeletal marauder-thief with a scythe and a grimace” (329). In the course of the 19th century, society regarded death as gruesome and wicked. Conversely, Dickinson made demise look amusing. Her portrayal of death is that of a humane gentleman, maybe even a spouse, who is out for a trip with her aboard a wagon. “Because” (in terms of its imagery) helps in the establishment of an agreeable tone. The poet depicts kids having fun, which as well makes the poem have a cheerful mood. An alternative means in which the poet makes death a more pleasant topic for the audience is when she likens the burial place to an abode; she says “We paused before a House…” (17). Here, the audience imagines a youthful woman being let off at her residence by her spouse. Conversely, as the poet goes on to say next, “A Swelling of the Ground-” (18), it serves as a reminder to the audience that it is in fact a burial place that the woman is being carried to. Further, her place of burial is described as a house where Dickinson says that “The Roof was scarcely visible- / The Cornice – in the Ground-” (19, 20). Perception of the cornice may be either that of the ornate tiling about the poet’s dwelling or that of the edging round her casket. Dickinson, through likening the burial

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