Because I Could Not Stop For Death

Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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"I first surmised the horses' heads were toward eternity."(Dickinson) In this poem a girl goes on a carriage ride with death and immortality. This carriage ride is very slow and the girl has to gives up a lot for death, almost like he is her family. When she is on this carriage ride she passes many sites that she was too busy to see before. Then death and her stop at a house which looks similar to a grave. Then she dies into eternity. This poem begins with a carriage ride, through many scenes, and ends at the house which becomes her barrel ground. In "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson, the main character is affected by the setting because she has to give up so much for this carriage ride, but then she gets an abundant amount out of it when she sees the many sites, and then in the end when she realizes her journey is over, she is sad to leave the world, but happy that she is going to eternity.
The first way the setting affects the character on this carriage ride is because she is riding on a carriage ride with death and immortality. She has to give up her "labors and leisure" (Dickinson) just for death. Not only is this fact ironic but also the fact that she is enjoying death's company. She is so busy that she forgets death is coming to get her. Even though she forgets about him, "this is a date that the speaker does not resist".(Semansky 2) So in this carriage ride, the speaker has to put aside many things in her life, but she is willing because she trust death. But will this trust be rewarded in the end of the poem?
On this carriage ride she realizes how much she has missed in her life when she sees the scenery. This setting affects the character because now she has realized all the things she has missed out on, and how much she is gaining from this carriage ride. Since she has taken away her labors and her leisure she has time to look at all the wonderful things of life. On this ride they passed many familiar things in her life that she took for granted, but since she is on her last journey, and it is slow she has the time to see them for their beauty.

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They pass children playing, which symbolizes a time in her life, her innocence. Then they pass the grain, which represents the world and all of its natural wonders. Then death and her pass the setting sun, which is her life which is soon coming to an end.
This setting affects the character the most, because this is the "house" or grave that they stop at on the carriage ride. In the poem it is said to be a house, but it is described more like a grave, and with the theme of the poem is death so it is portrayed as a grave. "We paused before a house that seemed a swelling of the ground; the roof was scarcely visible, the cornice but a mound."(Dickinson) When the speaker gets to this house, she knows that it time for her death. In the last stanza she talks about how the horses head is pointed towards eternity, and how this is the end. The speaker is of course sad that this is the end of her life, but happy that she had to the opportunity to go on this carriage ride, and see her life again.
The setting of a poem can influence the character of a poem in many ways, like in Emily Dickinson "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" on the carriage ride, because she gained so much from death and the things she saw on this carriage ride. The settings of the poem affected the character's mood and feelings throughout the poem. The speaker remains to have her trusted relationship with death, even though in the end the poem resulted in death. The speaker was happy to have gotten the opportunity to go on this ride. Dickinson shows in this poem shows that life is a precious thing, and when death comes it won't be planned. We have to take a look at everything around us, because in reality we won't have a carriage ride to show us all that we missed.
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