Literary Comparison Essay

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Literary Comparison of ‘Dog’s Death’ and ‘Because I Could Not Stop for Death’ Charmaine N. Lowe Introduction to Literature Lesa Hadley October 8, 2013 Literary Comparison of ‘Dog’s Death’ and ‘Because I could Not Stop for Death’ Two famous American writers, Emily Dickinson and John Updike, wrote great and poignant poems that touch on the solemn theme of death. One similarity is that they both show that death cannot be stopped in whichever way; not even our affections can stop the sting of death from taking away from us whomever it wants. One difference is that while in Emily Dickinson’s poem, ‘Because I Could Not Stop Death’ dwells on a human speaker’s first hand experience with death, the other poem “Dog’s Death’ by John Updike details the death of a dog, that was dear to a family, through the eyes of a human being; the father of the household. It would appear like the two poems are similar in most aspects, but they also have their own differences in terms of style form, tone and content. In this paper, I am going to compare and contrast John Updike’s “Dog’s Death” and Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. The basis of comparison will be the themes, narrative styles, uses of personification, content, form, tones, and languages, among other aspects. I chose these two poems because they talk about an issue of universal relevance to each one of us, which is death. Both poems explore the subject of death, and they show how it is unavoidable, in spite of our efforts to pre-empt it or our pre-occupations. In the poem ‘I Could Not Stop for Death’, the speaker says: “And I had put away/My labor and my leisure too” (6-7). This suggests that with death, everything must stop. In this particular case, the speaker says that she “could not stop for death” suggesting that it is feared, but in this case, it came with some civility, not its

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