Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop For Death



For as long as history has been recorded and probably for much longer, man has always been at odds with the idea of his own death. Even those of us who have accepted death graciously, have at least in some way feared, dreaded, or attempted to delay its arrival. We have personified death as an evildoer dressed in all black; its presence swoops down upon us and chokes the life from us as though it were some street murder with malicious intent. But in reality, we know that death is not the chaotic grim reaper of fairy tales and mythology. Rather than being a cruel and unfair prankster of evil, death is an unavoidable and natural part of life itself. The first line tells us exactly what ...

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of all people. She ‘could not stop for death’ as none of us really believe we can or that we have the time. Most people die unexpectedly and are not ready to stop everything they have and want to do just to cease living. By riding with death, she fools herself into thinking that she is not dead. She has found immortality by riding along with death. Death does not come quickly. Rather, it arrives with a menacing slowness. She has ridden with him and is now reflecting upon her well-lived years. In this sense, we all ride alongside death as it certainly does follow us everywhere we go. The “horse’s head”(23) refers to the carriage in which they ride, and she now knows that she has been heading towards this eternity and that the only way to eternity is through death, not through living.
The irony in this poem is that the author heroicizes death by the time it is over. Death has become her lifelong friend and the companion that she has always longed ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/21/2007 09:07:21 AM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 391
Pages: 2

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