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An Analysis Of Emily Dickinson's Poem, "Because I Could Not Stop For Death".

740 words - 3 pages

Emily Dickinson's poem "Because I could not stop for death" uniquely describes the passing between life and death in a tone that indicates the seriousness of a ride through the country. Emily, who was genuinely religious, believed that church was not a necessity in the search for divinity. She thought that staying at home accompanied by your own practices was just as acceptable. The theme of this poem, death is the end of human time and energy, is portrayed to us through the use of narration, tone and mood, and figurative language.This is a picturesque poem portraying death as a courteous gentlemen who drops by in his carriage and picks up a lovely lady for a ride toward the afterworld. On account of death's civility Emily forgets all of her work and obligations, "And I had put away"nMy labor and my leisure too," and is escorted through a setting depicting the evolution of her life. (6-7) They pass her grave, and the reader is left unsure as to where her destination is. However, we do know that wherever she reached she has been there for centuries without it seeming like a day has gone by: "since then 't is centuries; but each"nfeels shorter than a day"(17-18). This quote tells the reader that your consciousness has no concept of time; time is an idea proven by events during your life. The second stanza; "We slowly drove, he knew no haste,"nand I had put away"nmy labor, and my leisure too,"nfor his civility" proves when you are accompanied by death you stop all of your activities and give your attention directly to him, thus giving up your energy. (5-8)When Emily says, "because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me" she is giving off a tone of nonchalance, which carries forward throughout the entire poem. (1-2) The tone is calm, light, reassuring, mild, and indicates that the content of this poem has no real consequence. It indicates that although you are dying you have no need to worry. This is created through the use of words such as "kindly", "civility", "slowly", "surmised", "played" and "paused". The only...

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