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Analysis of Because I could not cease for Death

Emily Dickinson’s “Because I couldn’t stop for Death” is a exceptional poem that outlines both the journey of life and the journey of dying, and the way whether we want it or not, we have to face death sooner or later. Surprisingly, Dickinson expresses a relaxed and accepting tone in the direction of Death as she personifies him as a cordial suitor escorting the speaker to her grave. Through imagery and other literary gadgets, Dickinson portrays the audio system past life as she is taken by Death “towards eternity.

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The setting is immediately established as a changing one because the speaker rides along a “carriage [together with Death] and Immortality” to her grave. “Because I couldn’t stop for Death” metaphorically establishes dying as a pleasing drive in a carriage, much like the upper lessons trips in the nineteenth century. Death, being a separate entity, “kindly” takes her on an extended journey with him and immortality. The female speaker is lengthy dead in the real world as she mentions how “this century feels shorter than the day” she realized she was going to die.

Yet, she remains to be alive in a secondary world, the place she lives a pleasing life.

By referring to the afterlife as being everlasting and timeless, she creates a secondary world that’s nearly “fun” to stay in as time passes by sooner than she can recall. It can additionally be illustrated that the speaker is bodily useless by means of previous tense to recall a past event that has occurred, and present to show the current situation, as she mentions how this century “feels” shorter than the day.

Throughout the whole journey, the subject of demise isn’t illustrated as one thing to be feared but as a “kind” suitor who “knows no haste” as he calmly escorts her to her ultimate vacation spot. This displays the tone as that too is never certainly one of fear, but certainly one of calm acceptance as the speaker reflects on all the good she completed in her previous life earlier than she lastly realizes that dying has come.

The imagery is really putting as the reader is taken along the carriage journey to the speaker’s grave, and with the usage of dashes, Dickinson makes the individual fragments of the speaker’s life stand out. As the speaker travels along the highway, she passes “the School, the place Children strove,” “the Fields of Gazing Grain,” and “the Setting Sun.” All these portray the varied stages in her life as she critiques her childhood, maturity, and descent to dying. As she passes the college where kids are enjoying, we’re reminded of the fun and freedom of life. As she passes the fields of gazing grain, we understand it as being the maturity stage because the grain is ripe, hence “gazing.” This is the stage the place the enjoyable is combined with selections and penalties that lead to the last stage in life the place the sun is setting to suggest that we are becoming old. As the solar slopes down behind the horizon it doesn’t cease emitting mild, just not on us. This refers to the speaker as her soul lives on in an eternal afterlife even though she does not bodily exist anymore.

In one stanza, Dickinson has managed to encapsulate the speaker’s whole life, and as she does this, she finally highlights that every one life must come to an finish, identical to the sun that rises, reaches its peak, and finally sets down. As she travels further down the highway, the reader realizes that she appears to have accepted dying as she is sporting solely a “gossamer” and “tippet,” something typically associated with a marriage. By associating dying with a wedding, she creates a picture of demise as a new beginning rather than the top. Although at the prompt, the considered death could appear horrifying, we’ve to just accept dying, and take the afterlife as a brand new starting towards a lifetime of happiness. By sporting a marriage dress, it creates a picture of a marriage as she marries Death, and Death takes care of her in her new life. Death is not some relentless determine however somewhat a caring person who takes care of all his “victims.” Lastly, as she arrives at her grave, Dickinson refers again to the grave as “a House that appeared / A Swelling of the Ground.” This more humane picture helps make dying seem comforting and good rather than something to be feared. By associating the grave to a house, Dickinson creates an image of a secondary world, the place individuals attempt in their homes “in the bottom,” rather than being buried underneath a pile of filth.

Dickinson uses diction to help highlight her paradoxical view of Death as type and nice. Dickinson immediately personifies Death as a cordial suitor who “kindly stopped for [the speaker]” as she was not ready to “stop for [him].” Whilst we may not be able to cease our life and “put away our labor and leisure,” we’ve to face death at some point, whether we wish to or not. By personifying Death, Dickinson establishes Death as extra “civil” and caring for the human race, as he is part of us. Dickinson uses the phrases “kindly” and “civil” to indicate that though we could fear Death, Death does not convey us any hurt. Death doesn’t come abruptly and take away every little thing we once had. It comes “slowly” and with “no haste,” and greets us with friendliness and luxury. By implying its slowness, Dickinson also manages to make Death appear less violent and scary, however rather calm and tranquil as he makes us notice that our time has come on the inevitable cycle to depart from the bodily world. Death does not need us to feel pain or suffering because it escorts the speaker in a “carriage,” which usually signifies luxurious and status. After the speaker enters the carriage, Dickinson goes from saying “he” to “we” to establish a sense of unity between the 2, and as the speaker has come to terms with reality, she joins Death as they depart on an everlasting journey together. Death additionally takes care of individuals, burying them in “houses” underground rather than coffins which act more like a prison.

Sound is used within the poem to reflect both dying and the environment of the speaker. Although a rhyme scheme is not present, Dickinson alternates between iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter to create a sound of a trotting horse, residing the reader into the second in time. In the primary two strains of stanza 4, as “dews drew quivering and chill,” there is an abnormality because the meter does not comply with the relaxation of the poem. Here, the speaker realizes that just like the solar must come down, she too should go away the bodily world ultimately. Death is now actuality, and as she realizes that, there’s a break within the poem to reflect the disagreeable chills that the speaker feels. The use of iambic meter all through the entire poem additionally serves to create a energetic and joyous feeling rather than considered one of sorrow. The length of the journey is highlighted by method of anaphora. The repetition of the clause “we passed” serves to focus on the many issues they noticed on their journey and the sounding repetition helps to join the events as one unit that they handed on their lengthy journey. She also uses alliteration in all the lines in stanza three to indicate that they’re all comparable and intertwined together as one entire life, the place what one does in one stage of their life impacts all the other phases of one’s life.

To conclude, Dickinson’s portrayal of death is a paradoxical certainly one of kindness rather than concern as she comforts the reader about the inevitable. By metaphorically relating demise to a carriage experience, she redefines our perception in a nice everlasting afterlife, where life still carries on in a secondary world.

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