Compare And Contrast Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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 …show more content…
Auden’s poem “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone” (1936) also concerns the theme of death, but is told through the eyes of someone who has lost a loved one. The speaker is distraught and believes that the world has completely stopped because of this tragic death. Auden begins the poem with the line “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone” (Auden 958). The different hands of the clock move as time passes. By continuing to allow the clock to work as it should, the speaker is acknowledging that time is still passing and life is still going on. This person’s death makes the speaker feel as if time has literally stopped and does not want any indication that life is still continuing for everyone, including them. The author writes, “He was my North, my South, my East and West/ My working week and my Sunday rest/ My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song” (Auden 959). The speaker clearly feels strongly for this man, and that he was everything to them, including their sense of direction and their purpose for living. The speaker also states, “I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong” (Auden 959). This person believes that their love for this person is immortal, but finds that without this man in their life, they feel empty inside with no love left whatsoever. The writer declares, “The stars are not wanted now: put out every one/ Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun/ Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood/ For nothing now can come to any good” (Auden 957). These lines of the poem imply that the speaker only saw beauty and purpose in the world when their loved one was with them. For this person, time has stopped, love has been lost, purpose for living is gone, and natural beauty no longer exists. This individual has taken a negative attitude toward death that can be seen as

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