Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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Many people have heard of rumors about death, whether it be peaceful or painful, and what actually happens when death is approaching. Many rumors reveal that one’s life flashes before their eyes, revealing every aspect of the long, never ending roller coaster of life. Poet Emily Dickinson, author of the poem “Because I could not stop for Death”, shares her story of the unsolved mystery. Each stanza of this lyrical poem tells an anecdote, one of the many, many stories that one acquires throughout life. The theme of life having its ups and downs, but death being civil, is supported with the use of contrasting positive and negative diction and symbolism. The poem “Because I could not top for Death” contains multiple emotions, contrasting…show more content…
Each stanza in this poem stands for a different period of time in Dickinson’s life, whether it be childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The emotions attached to each stanza gives the reader a perspective of how the author felt during that time. It was as if Dickinson’s life had flashed before her eyes during death, revealing a summarization of her life and her emotions throughout. The poem is written in chronological order, such as death carrying her away is first, followed by childhood, adulthood, and finally the arrival of Death’s destination. The stanza symbolizing childhood is accompanied with uplifting diction, telling the reader how she felt during that time period. “We passed the School, where Children strove/ At Recess- in the Ring/ We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain/ We passed the Setting Sun” (Dickinson 3-4). This stanza represents a happy, enthusiastic period of time in the author’s life. The use of the word “school” and “recess” and its childlike diction concludes that this is childhood. In the stanza following, the reader can infer that this is adulthood through mature and desolate diction. “Or rather- He passed us/ The Dews drew quivering and chill/ For only Gossamer, my Gown” (Dickinson 4-3). The tone of this stanza is less childlike and more serious, similar to how this period of life is like; busy, stressful, and full of obstacles. Towards
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