Patterson in her seminal work, Emily Dickinson’s Imagery, “formally presents her major argument that the poets recurrent imagery of major themes [including death] is a symbolic expression of her unconscious erotic feelings” (Patterson xiii). While this is an interesting…
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As one makes their way through the lines their emerges an imagery reflective of Dickinson’s Christian belief in the afterlife and a poignant picture of how she views death will come, where it will take her, and a hopeful projection of eternity.
Dickinson often dealt with universal themes in her poetry, exploring events at times extremely personal and specific. Death is one of them. In it Dickinson, a Christian, uses the fine art of imagery to make the feared concept of death into something to be less feared and more something inevitable to contemplate as an expected and welcomed friend—a friend that guides us to the glorious afterlife. Because I could not stop for death, He kindly stopped for me. It is the non-threatening, positive image, if you will, reflecting the fact that the individual has little control over when death will come, but death, in its inevitable way, “stops,” interrupting it’s path, and takes the chosen one along with it to a better place.
In addition to the use of the word “kindly,” she adds the image of Civility, a different image in that kindness requires empathy, where Civility requires a concerted effort to assuage a difficult situation in the interests of doing just that. We slowly drove-He knew no haste. Death, recognizing her reluctance and perhaps fear to accept her fate, did it’s best to civilly sooth the journey—turning an otherwise negative event into one at least palatable.
The use of poignant images from life stir the heart, as Dickinson obviously intended. Who can not relate to thoughts upon death of their childhood, their schoolyard: Recess-in the Ring-We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-We passed the Setting Sun- [itself obvious imagery used to convey life’s cycles from beginning to end, and the setting of life ebbing]. With the next line, she hardens the image of the sun with the use of words such as Dews drew quivering and chill as the impending reality of death and its finality nears.
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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.
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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.
[Name] [Professor] [Course] [Date] Essay on Dickinson’s ‘Because I could not stop for death’ 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.
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.
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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.