An Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s Poem “Because i could not Stop for Death”

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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Emily Dickinson was a leading female poet in the United States with huge contributions to the world of poetry. Throughout the course of her life, she devoted herself to writing many fascinating poems and created over 1800 poems before her demise. She created poems that touched on topics in sincere and genuine ways while offering an exciting exploration of every single piece of literature. Regrettably, Just a few of her poems were distributed, and it is the after-death compilations that made her well-known as a writer.

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In the poem (Because I could not stop for death) Dickinson manages the great beyond and the speaker’s movement with the representation of death. The lyric is composed in six stanzas and as a verse managing the subject of death.

Dickinson delivers a very engaging piece of writing in this poem and promptly tells the peruser that the ballad will be about death. ‘Because’ is an astute method to start. It instantly gives a perception that the speaker is going to elucidate a type of clarification to a contention or to an inquiry. This influences the poem to appear to be dynamic and alive, dissimilar to numerous different lyrics, which some of the time take a greater amount of a perceptive position. Expressing that she couldn’t stop for death implies that the speaker didn’t have a decision about when she was to pass on. We’ve all presumably heard something like this previously. Regardless of whether or not, Dickinson advises us that it’s not by any means up to us when we kick the bucket.

Dickinson underwrites passing, which is something she regularly does to things (In some cases without being prompted). In this aspect, she attempts to represent death in this particular case where she personifies death as a collected man lover who rides a horse-drawn carriage. In the event that we focus on the line break in the last lines of the first stanza. Line 3 says it’s simply her and death in the carriage, yet line 4 convolutes that by including everlasting status, the “immortality.” The break after ‘Ourselves’ produces an ‘oh, wait!’ moment and footings us in doubt until we drop down to line 4.

In previous lines, Dickinson typifies death to present it as a physical character, but in these two lines, the capitalized words are not probably the characters as well. As it’s a piece of literature, a poem, we can accept these kinds of changes. But since Dickinson uses this capitalization technique often in her work so it can be considered that the words’ Carriage,’ ‘Ourselves,’ and ‘Eternity’ are capitalized just for emphasis. And thus, she makes the word “carriage” more precise and more significant by making it a proper noun. Or we can say that it’s not a normal chariot, but it’s her Death carriage.

In “Ourselves,” we can say it’s her and her death. This emphasis also conveys an idea of a strong relationship between the two, i.e., She and Death. It’s almost like foretelling an idea that something serious is going to happen soon. The word ‘Immortality’ is the most interesting and the most significant word of these three, and it’s a clue that the presenter doesn’t believe death is The End. She sees death as a doorway to another world to eternal life.

In the second stanza, the expression ‘He knew no haste’ is an antiquated method for saying death didn’t hustle or rush. The transition from ‘We’ to ‘He’ in this line is also an important change. The ‘We’ may enable the peruser to think the speaker has some command over the pace, yet Dickinson rapidly advises us that ‘He’ is the one deciding the casual advancement and that the speaker is only in the interest of personal entertainment. While we’ve discovered that the speaker isn’t anxious about death, this moderate pace still creates a sentiment that attracts our anticipation of the poem and keeps us pondering what may happen. In Lines 6-7, she has surrendered work and extra time, or we may accept she’s surrendered considering or stressing over them as well.

In the last lines of the second stanza, we can read ‘For’ as ‘due to.’ So, she surrendered, pondering work and play since death is simply so considerate and beguiling that he occupied her from whatever else. Or then again, we can read the ‘for’ as ‘instead of.’ So, like the main understanding, she has surrendered the stresses (work) and delights (recreation) of life in return for his kindness. We may even figure that she is beginning to feel more thoughtful and social as well.

In the third stanza, Dickinson portrays the grain as ‘gazing.’ Possibly she supposes the thicker ends of the grain take after heads, or maybe that the grain appears to stop and simply take a gander at the carriage as it passes. The sun and field are considerably more broad portrayals of the scene than the past lines, yet may even have emblematic importance. The setting sun, for instance, implies the day’s end, yet may likewise remain for the finish of life.

The rehashed expression, ‘We passed,’ which is an anaphora, can likewise be noted here. Here it attempts to imitate the moderate movement of the carriage. We can nearly hear the resound of clomping horse hooves in the rehashed expression. So as opposed to feeling like this poem is at a halt, we’re mindful that it’s advancing. It nearly enables us to be a piece of their voyage, not simply outside eyewitnesses.

Literally, the sun passes her since it falls beneath the skyline. In any case, perusing somewhat more profound into it, Dickinson recommends that possibly that is the thing that passing resembles – the sun, light, and warmth abandoning you to the chilly obscurity that is demise. Dickinson utilizes embodiment again as she alludes to the sun. It appears the more remote the adventure they get, the more distant from the living scene they get.

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An Analysis of Emily Dickinson's Poem "Because I could not stop for death". (2023, Mar 31). Retrieved from