Central Theme Of Death In Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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Another poem with a central theme of death is “Because I could not stop for Death”. This first line in the poem is a clever one “Because I could not stop for Death-/He kindly stopped for me” (Madden). It implies that the speaker did not have a choice regarding her death so Death (personified) came to her. Stanza three reads, “We passed the School/…We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-/ We passed the Setting Sun-” (Madden). The carriage containing the speaker, Death, and Immortality passes through seemingly ordinary places. The sun sets and passes, and the speaker gets cold, “The Dews drew quivering and Chill–/ For only Gossamer, my Gown–/ My Tippet – only Tulle –” (Madden). The speaker is wearing very light clothes; she is underprepared for her journey. Death leads her to her burial spot, her “House that seemed/ A swelling of the Ground-” (Madden). The reader then learns that the speaker’s death happened centuries ago but the speaker does not appear to feel time and will be there for all eternity. Dickinson’s fascination with death continues in the poem. She describes Death as a gentleman, willing to stop her and bring her to eternity. Patricia Engle claims, “It is simply not her nature to stop for Death”. It is not in anyone’s…show more content…
This time, instead of the speaker dying or witnessing another death, she is talking about what happens to the family members after a person is already dead. The speaker says it “Is solemnest of industries/ Enacted upon Earth—” (Madden). Everyone is done mourning and continuing with their daily routine. The person is almost forgotten when they “[put] Love away” (Madden). The family lets go of the dead when they “[Sweep] up the Heart” (Madden). There is also an idea of an afterlife in this poem. Dickinson says, “We shall not want to use again/ Until Eternity.” (Madden) They will use those emotions when reunited with the member of the
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