Death Be Not Proud by John Donne Essay

Death Be Not Proud by John Donne Essay

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Death, to many people, is something that is feared and unwelcome. These people do not want their lives to end, or are afraid of life after death. Emily Dickinson gives a different perspective in her poem “Because I could not stop for Death”, as does John Donne in his poem, “Death Be Not Proud”. In their poems, death is welcome. Factors such as the way they were raised and their religious beliefs both have an influence on Dickinson’s and Donne’s poems.
Emily Dickinson lived from 1830 to 1856 in Amherst, Massachusetts. She was raised in a political family that was very involved in Amherst society. The men in her family carried out a tradition of public service that was started by her grandfather, Samuel Dickinson. Though she had been born into a family that was prepared for a life of political activity and public affairs, she was not allowed to be involved because of her gender (Crumbley).
Her father was strict as she was growing up. He did not approve of some literature, including Walt Whitman. This caused Dickinson to be a bit rebellious. One of her father’s employees, Benjamin Franklin Newton, introduced Emily to writers William Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Before Newton died, he encouraged Emily to keep writing (Emily Dickinson - Biography). Dickinson began to write seriously around 1850. During this time, she withdrew herself from the public, though she still corresponded with many friends and associates. She often stayed inside her family’s home and rarely came out. During the later years of her life, Dickinson experienced losing many close relatives and friends. She lost her mother, father, her favorite pastor, and her nephew. When Dickinson died in 1886, her sister discovered around seventeen hun...


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...their poems. Their historical backgrounds influenced the way that they thought, especially their religious backgrounds. Death is not something to be feared. It is just merely a stop along the way to eternal life.



Works Cited

"Biography of John Donne." Lib.byu.edu. BYU Harold B. Lee Library, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.
Crumbley, Paul. "Emily Dickinson's Life." Emily Dickinson's Life. University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.
Dickinson, Emily. "Because I Could Not Stop for Death – (479)." Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d.
Web. 05 Feb. 2014.
Donne, John. "Death Be Not Proud." Poemhunter.com. N.p., 14 May 2001. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.
"Emily Dickinson - Biography." Egs.edu. The European Graduate School, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2014
Luebering, J.E. "John Donne (English Poet)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia
Britannica, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.

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