Analysis of Emily Dickinsons' "Because I Could Not Stop for Death"

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TrudiAnn Breakenridge Mrs. Hawk English Composition II 1123 10 0ctober 2012 Analytical paper 2 “Because I could not stop for Death” Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” is a poem that seamlessly depicts the unconventional way in which the poet thought of death. The poem is centered round a young woman who is traveling from life into the afterlife. There are three main characters; the woman (Emily), a gentleman (Death), and a chaperon (Immortality). The theme of the poem is mortality and the passage into immortality. Emily depicts death in an unconventional way, challenging the age old belief of death and its elation to immortality in death. In stanza one, Dickinson personifies death, as being a gentleman with human characteristics. This interpretation put a twist to the age old description of death as a cryptic, sinister figure from hell that comes for our soul and invokes fear into our very being. The speaker said “‘because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me’” (line 1-2), this woman was too busy with her everyday life that she never thought of the inevitability of death. Traditionally, it is taught that death cares and waits for no one; ironically, he ‘kindly’ stops for her, portraying her as though they are going on a date. The speaker then said “‘the carriage held but just ourselves and Immortality’” (lines 3-4), these lines insinuates that they are going for a ride and that immortality is their driver or chaperon, whom she only acknowledges once throughout the entire ride. The reader is then transitioned into stanza too with the description of this ride. Speaker “‘We slowly drove- he knew no haste’” (line 5), these lines bring to the reader’s attention that death had no concept of time and space and moved very slowly. the speaker says “‘and I had put away my labor and leisure too, for his civility’”(lines 6-8), she
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