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Mortality in Because I Could Not Stop For Death Essay


Personification in Because I Could Not Stop for Death

Death, whether distant or near is an event that cannot be stopped. In Emily Dickinsons Because I Could Not Stop for Death the speaker personifies death as a person who follows her through a journey. Refusing to stop for death, it then follows the speaker with no haste to the destination she is slowly taken to where she will stay for eternity.

For example, Dickinson further explains a recap of her life, as she slowly and peacefully is lead by death to her afterlife. About her journey to her destination, Dickinson writes, Because I could not stop for Death, / He kindly stopped for me(1-2). This clearly personifies Death as a person by capitalizing the first letter as if it were a name of a person. Beginning her uninvited stroll, Dickinson also states, The carriage held but just ourselves/And Immortality. (3-4). This exposes you to Immortality, a third person (which is indicated by the first letter being capitalized as if it were a person) accompanying Death and Dickinson throughout their journey. The carriage is a symbol of her passing over and leaving life.

On the positive side, Dickinsons idea of death in this poem is not portrayed as being scary but is surprisingly at ease with mortality. The journey enables her to see the stages of her life beginning with her childhood, then maturity, and finally, old age. This is verified when Dickinson writes, We passed the school, where children strove/At recess-in the ring; / We passed the fields of gazing grain, /We passed the setting sun. (9-12). This also shows how passed is used as repetition in this stanza. Arriving at he final destination, her description of the grave as her house indicates how comfortable she feels about death.

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