Emily Dickinson & Her Outlook on Death Essay

Emily Dickinson & Her Outlook on Death Essay

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The subject of death, including her own was a very prevalent theme in Emily Dickinson’s poems and letters. Some may find her preoccupation with death morbid, but this was not unusual for her time period. The mindset during Ms. Dickinson’s time was that of being prepared to die, in the 19th century people died of illness and accidents at an alarming rate, not to mention the Civil War had a high number of casualties, she also lived 15 years of her youth next to a cemetery. Dickinson’s view on death was never one of something to be feared she almost romanized death, in her poem “Because I Could not Stop for Death”, she actually personifies death while narrating from beyond the grave. In the first stanza she states “I could not stop for death so he kindly stopped for me” (Dickinson). Death is like a loving mate that is simply waiting for her to just slow down so he/she can take her on to her into eternity. As they journey forth into eternity she describes Death as a very patient individual, she says death “drives away slowly, no haste”, death knows that she can’t escape so he just patiently waits on her. Dickinson “anthropomorphizes Death as a kind and civil gentleman” (Shaw).
She shows her gratitude for Death being so patient and gentlemanly by putting away her labors and leisure’s that once had her preoccupied with everything but her impending journey to the afterlife. The way she symbolizes her approach to her impending afterlife Dickinson creates a mood of peace and tranquility while she moves towards her eternity. This poem represents the three stages of life through symbolism; the school “where children strove represents childhood”; fields of grazing grain” was a representation of maturity; and “setting sun rep...


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“Santiago Suarez’s-Conflicting views of Death in Emily Dickinson’s Poems. 2004. 8 March 2012. “Poetry Summary:I Died For Beauty But Was Scarce. Ed. Brianna Gibbs. Nov. 2010. 3 MAR 2012. “Poetry Summary:I Died For Beauty But Was Scarce. Ed. Brianna Gibbs. Nov. 2010. 3 MAR 2012.
“The Spirituality of Emily Dickinson. Ed. Sumangali Morhall. 7 March 2012.
“The Spirituality of Emily Dickinson. Ed. Sumangali Morhall. 7 March 2012.

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