Emily Dickinson, the renowned American poet, was going through social isolation along with dealing with her ailing and aged mother, when she wrote ‘Because I could not stop for death’ in 1863. This poem was initially written as ‘The Chariot’…
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This poem was initially written as ‘The Chariot’. Dickinson went into chronic isolation for 25 years; she wanted to leave the physical life and indulged in the complexities of soul and a free mind. Her friends had separated from her; some had got married and others had moved on in their life. This is when she became aloof and made perpetual decisions in her life. This critically acclaimed poem came out when she decided to detach from public exposure, friends and family. It basically represents Emily’s personification of death; she identified death with a gentleman. The discussion of Dickinson’s poem is significant to comprehend the varying criticisms and interpretations of her work. The poem is equally well-built and spiritual, beguiling literature-obsessed generations to a philosophical understanding of death and our emblematic relationship with it. A developmental paper for this poem enables the researches and readers alike evaluate the difference of opinions and attitudes towards this poem and the sheer importance of death. Some view this poem from the perceptual lens of social death; some view it as physical death and some state that Dickinson’s focus was primarily on spiritual death. One of the critics goes on to relate her work to Christianity and its core beliefs about afterlife, whereas some literary experts say that this poem was the result of mere loneliness. Four interpretations of ‘Because I could not stop death’ are being presented below, following a precise conclusion. Mary Neff Shaw (1991) built upon the work of Dickinson. Her understanding of the poem reveals that Dickinson was preoccupied with her past relationships and images. The poem links death and eternity together, delving into the layers of soul. Dickinson attempted to explain the reality of the individual as part of the spiritual universe and not just the physical existence. The progression in the poem shoes how the author developed a deeper and a more reflective understanding of her past. Another important aspect pointed out in Shaw’s paper was the stages that he has inferred from this poem. According to him, when Dickinson says ‘school’ she points towards the tender childhood memories; later when she says ‘fields’, she is indicating maturity that comes in the middle age and finally when she talks about the ‘setting of the sun’, she is implying the onset of old age. A review quoted in the Indian Journal of research, explains Emily Dickinson’s biography as well as her literary development. Premalatha (2012) in this review elaborates on how intense Dickinson’s writing has been. The way she portrays emotions symbolically is commendable; for instance, the author of this review examined how Emily painted the picture of sensations of death and life in her work indirectly. Her writing becomes more relatable as she gives a persona to entities like life, death and soul. Dickinson, in her poem, tried to illustrate how the human body, on a physical level suffers throughout life from cradle to the funeral. Moreover, the way Dickinson has personalized the thought content of a dying person, has been critically appreciated. This review also highlighted the transitional presentation of life before and after death in Dickinson’s poem. Furthermore, Premalatha has also remarked on the delicate description of death. The words ‘Death drives slowly’, ‘knows no hate’ and ‘kindly’ represent the author’s endeavor to embrace death instead of fearing it. The manifestation of death as a ‘carriage’ tells how death can be a source of ease from life’s frustration and worry. These interpretations are highly related to Dickinson’s life. Literature review demonstrates that she was socially depressed which made her
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However, the meaning of the poem is very elusive. Using various images and fusing them with the central idea of death, Dickinson makes the readers quite death-friendly. This paper is an analysis of the poem to see how the “Gentleman-caller’ takes away his beloved and how she reacts to his call.
Because no human can experience it and then relate the experience, the poet is always approaching the topic a priori. As such, every poet presents death as a different experience based on his or her interpretation.
John Donne, an English poet of the 17th century and Emily Dickinson, an American poet of the 19th century have both shown interest in the issue of death. In their respective poems, “Death, Be not Proud” “and Because I Could not Stop for Death,” they raise questions concerning society or expressing their philosophy of life.
The most profound symbol in “Because I could not stop for Death” is Death, who is described as a gentleman, and the driver of the carriage that stops for the speaker. This man is immediately identified as Death, but unlike the harrowing visions of the Grim Reaper that many of us are familiar with, he is depicted as a suitor, a kindly gentleman wanting only to escort a lady to her final resting place.
spective, most likely colored by aspects of Dickinson’s personal life, there is little to point to in her poem, “Because I could not stop for Death,” that affirms it. The use of imagery in the poem can be more realistically explored from a more commonplace and less
declares that while many poems and sonnets view death as something unwanted by many, he points out that, in Dickinson’s poem, it is an event worth experiencing. Dissimilar to Vendler’s book, Baker’s article focuses solely on one poem and one concept.
This article aided me
This is in respect to poetic devices such as consonance, alliteration, assonance and iambic pentameter that help the reader in making different interpretations (Christensen 134).
There are several differences between
According to the author, the poem “Because I Could not Stop for Death” got published back in 1890. It belongs to those poems by Dickinson that focus on death and dying. While the topic seems quite sombre to explore, Dickinson loved to write about death. In this poem, death is portrayed in an image of a suitor.