Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was a very talented poet. Her poems contained deep emotions and continue to amaze her readers. She was born in Amherst Massachusetts on December 10, 1830 to Attorney Edward Dickinson and Emily Norcross Dickinson. Her mother was very emotionally accessible. Dickinson was an energetic and outgoing child. She attended Amherst Academy and Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Her father took her out of school after a year at Mount Holyoke because he thought she had enough education.
During Dickinson's mid-20's she became reclusive. She spent the rest of her life in the house she was born in. She was just like the rest of the women around her town. She kept house, gardened, cooked, and wrote in her spare time. Some scholars that study her work and her life theorize as to why Dickinson secluded herself. They believed that she was like this because she could not write about the world without first backing away from it and contemplating it from a distance. During her life she had very few friends. Dickinson would sometimes send her poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson. He rejected her poems but published them after she died. She only had six or seven poems published during her lifetime but without her consent. Dickinson actually wrote over 17,000 poems. Unfortunately she died on May 15, 1886 due to Bright's disease, a kidney ailment, in the house she was born in.
In Dickinson's poem "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" it obviously is about death. She says that death is always with us and it causes great pain but it also inspires people. She is saying to her readers that she wants them to view death as not being sad, but as being an inevitable change. It is silly to fear death and Dickinson wants her readers to accept it, even embrace it. Not matter what happens, death is inescapable. She feels that life is to busy and short to think about death; it can be peaceful, civil, relaxed, or unhurried. She gives death a human form, which is the common theme of the poem. She does not describe death physically and permits the user to use their imagination to form a physical description of death. By doing so, Dickinson makes death understandable. When she says "Because I could not stop for death" Dickinson is making her readers ask why she should not stop for death. In the carriage that she rides in, she is accompanied by death and immortality. Death can represent the nature of self and immortality can represent her soul or spirit. In the end of the poem, Dickinson mentions a house; this reference could mean different things. It could mean the tombs the Romans built along their roads or her fear of being forgotten. In the final stanza Dickinson realizes that there is no escape from death. It is forever, like the carriage ride heading towards eternity.
Dickinson uses many ways to get her points and views on death across to her readers. In her poem she personifies death, like death was human as she says in this line; "Because I could not stop...