Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death Essay

Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death Essay

Length: 850 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death"


In Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death “ (448), the speaker of the poem is a woman who relates about a situation after her death. The speaker personifies death as a polite and considerate gentleman who takes her in a carriage for a romantic journey; however, at the end of this poem, she finishes her expedition realizing that she has died many years ago.

The poem contains six quatrains, and does not follow any consistent rhyme scheme. Every line starts with a strong beat and ends up with a weak beat. The first and third lines in each stanza have iambic tetrameter, but the second and fourth lines do not contain any consistent meter. The feet generate a rhythm the following way.

Bevcause/ Iv | could/ notV | stop/ | forv Death/

Hev kind/lyv | stopped/ | forv me/

This rhythm mimics the sound of horses’ hooves on the ground. Emily Dickinson correlates the speaker’s expression of her journey “toward Eternity-“(l. 24) with horses’ hoofed feet in her allegory (Class note).

In the first stanza, she begins her journey with a refined gentleman named Death who takes her in the carriage. Even though in the first line “Because I could not stop for Death” (l. 1), the poet gives us a hint of the speaker's disappearance in the world, the speaker thinks that she is still alive. The poet chooses a special term “Immortality” (l. 4) to show that at the beginning of her journey the speaker is young and ...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis of Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death Essay

- Analysis of Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" In regard to Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death,” Critic Eunice Glenn says: “In the first two lines Death, personified as a carriage driver, stops for one who could not stop for him. The word ‘kindly’ is particularly meaningful, for it instantly characterizes Death. This comes with surprise, too, since death is more often considered grim and terrible” (Glenn). Critic Charles R. Anderson says, “Death, usually rude, sudden, and impersonal, has been transformed into a kindly and leisurely gentleman” (Anderson)....   [tags: Emily Dickinson Could Not Stop Death Essays]

Better Essays
798 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Emily Dickinson 's Because I Could Not Stop For Death

- Emily Dickinson is known as one of the most brilliant poets of all time. She, along with other great poets of her time, challenged the existing definitions of poetry by experimenting with expression in order to free it from its conventional constraints (“Emily Dickinson”). Numberless people would call Ms. Dickinson a unique genius as she could achieve a great deal in a sheer eight lines while giving them no title (Haralson). Emily Dickinson uses a copious amount of literary devices to amplify the overall feel of her poems....   [tags: Emily Dickinson, Poetry]

Better Essays
1627 words (4.6 pages)

Because I could not stop for Death, by Emily Dickinson Essay

- ‘Because I could not stop for Death—,’ A Poem of Both Marriage and Death When thinking of both marriage and death, the word “eternity” comes to mind. Marriage is looked at as a symbol of eternal love, and death is looked at as a state of eternal rest. Also, Christians consider life after death as an eternal state. In “Because I could not stop for Death—,” Emily Dickinson portrays death by describing an eternal marriage. On the literal level, the speaker remembers a time where she was carried off and eloped with a man called Death and his partner in crime, Immortality....   [tags: Emily Dickinson Essays]

Better Essays
1127 words (3.2 pages)

Because I Couldn't Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson Essay

- In today’s world even something like death can be predicted. The doctors can say that there are four months left, that the disease is spreading and that it will all be over soon. Truly imaging something like that is hard. Still, death is inevitable for anyone, so why live for it. Emily Dickinson conveys this point in her poem, “Because I couldn’t stop for Death.” No, this poem isn’t talking about someone fighting through a life taking disease. In fact, it never says why the speaker died. Still, it’s the same concept....   [tags: poem analysis]

Better Essays
718 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Analysis of Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson

- Analysis of "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson      The poets of the nineteenth century wrote on a variety of topics. One often used topic is that of death. The theme of death has been approached in many different ways. Emily Dickinson is one of the numerous poets who uses death as the subject of several of her poems. In her poem "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," death is portrayed as a gentleman who comes to give the speaker a ride to eternity. Throughout the poem, Dickinson develops her unusual interpretation of death and, by doing so, composes a poem full of imagery that is both unique and thought provoking....   [tags: Because Could Stop Death Dickinson Essays]

Free Essays
1993 words (5.7 pages)

Essay about Because I could not stop for Death, by Emily Dickinson

- Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10,1830 in the quiet community of Amherst, Massachusetts (Davidson 247). She was the second born to Edward and Emily Norcross Dickinson (Davidson 247). Her older brother Austin and her younger sister Lavina lived in a reserved family headed by their authoritative father (Davidson 247). Emily’s mother was not “emotionally accessible,'; thought out there lives (Davidson 247). Their parents weren’t involved in their children’s lives....   [tags: Emily Dickinson Essays]

Free Essays
871 words (2.5 pages)

Because I could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson Essay

- Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830. Except for a few months of travel, she remained in Amherst until her death. Dickinson began, in her twenties, a gradual retreat into the confines of the homestead, the house in which she was born, until for the last fifteen years of her life she didn't leave its grounds and saw no one but her brother and sister. As her withdrawal intensified, Emily's principal method of communication was through her letters. Emily Dickinson died on May 15, 1886 after an illness....   [tags: Because I could Not Stop for Death]

Better Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death Essay

- Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” is a remarkable masterpiece that exercises thought between the known and the unknown. In Dickinson’s poem, “Because I could not stop Death,” there is much impression in the tone, in symbols and in the use of imagery that over flow with creativity. One might undoubtedly agree to an eerie, haunting, if not frightening, tone and use of symbolism in Dickinson’s poem. Dickinson uses controlling adjectives –“slowly” and “passed” – to create a tone that seems rather placid....   [tags: Because I Could Not Stop for Death]

Better Essays
724 words (2.1 pages)

Death in Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died

- Death in Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died Emily Dickinson's two poems, "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" and "I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died," revolve around one central theme, death. Though the two do centralize around the theme of death they both have slightly different messages or beliefs about what is to come after death. By discussing both of the poems and interpreting their meanings, the reader can gain a fuller understanding of the message Dickinson is trying to send to her audience and a greater feel for what may lie ahead in the afterlife....   [tags: Emily Dickinson Death Dying Literature Essays]

Better Essays
962 words (2.7 pages)

Emily Dickinson’s Because I Could Not Stop For Death Essay

- Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” is a remarkable masterpiece that exercises thought between the known and the unknown. Critics call Emily Dickinson’s poem a masterpiece with strange “haunting power.” In Dickinson’s poem, “Because I could not stop for Death,” there is much impression in the tone, in symbols, and in the use of imagery that exudes creativity. One might undoubtedly agree to an eerie, haunting, if not frightening, tone in Dickinson’s poem. Dickinson uses controlling adjectives—“slowly” and “passed”—to create a tone that seems rather placid....   [tags: Because I could not stop for Death]

Better Essays
881 words (2.5 pages)