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Because I Could Not Stop for Death

In: English and Literature

Submitted By akanksha44
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In the poem "Because I could not stop for death", Emily Dickinson talks about her acceptance of death as something inevitable that comes to her and she has no control over it; although she seems confused about being alive or dead as she keeps narrating.
In the first stanza, when she says" I could not stop for death, He kindly stopped for me", she’s not ready to die but accepts the fact that it is a natural thing that happens to all human beings, and comes at its own time, no matter what you are doing or where you are it will come and take you, to which she seems content with. She personifies death as if it was a kind gentleman, or her groom that comes to pick her up and take her away in his carriage on a pleasant ride; she also realizes that ironically someone else is riding along with them, Immortality—looking at it in a positive way. It is also interesting to point out how she separates death from immortality, when she says “The carriage held but just ourselves—and immortality”.
She seems excited about her journey with her two companions, and feels so pleased by this gentleman’s courtesy that she gives up her distress and freedom to enjoy it –when you are dead, there are no more troubles and no more leisure time. She feels happy with her exchange of life for death’s civility. It now seems that she wanted to die sooner but couldn’t, and death came to her but in slow form as if she was ill. She doesn’t realize where she is headed as he drives the carriage away slowly, with no hurry – this means that she is already dead, and being taken in a hearse.
She sees her life as movie being played in front of her as they pass the school, the fields of grain, and the setting sun. Children at play reminds her of her own childhood, being energetic and full of life; the grains suggest harvest time (growing, being productive, ripe), adulthood; and she gazes at them as if…...

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