Emily Dickinson was an American poetess and this poem is one of her most celebrated poems. In the literary analysis of Because I could not Stop for Death, the poetess describes that death comes o her as a gentleman who seems kind in nature. The poem was written in 1863 and is one of the most famous poems of Emily Dickinson.
Literary analysis of Because I could not Stop for Death
The female narrator in the poem explains that death has come to her and personified it as a kind man who will take ride in carriage. The carriage takes the narrator who is a woman to all the life stages before stopping at the grave, which is actually her grave. It reveals to her that this grave is her own. The aspect that make this poem powerful is that it does not provide with the feasible answer of ‘what happens after death’? The interpretation of poem can be taken as is it all happening afterlife or something else.
The poem starts with the speaker telling that I could not stop for the ‘Death’, however, the death came for her. She climbs in the carriage and there, just the two of them are present along with the eternity.
Further, she says that they drive without any hurry and death is in no dash as well. The speaker has left behind all her delight and engagements to comply with the order of that gentleman.
The carriage goes by the school where all the children are playing in their recess by making a circle shape. After that, the carriage and its passengers passed through a crop field, which felt like staring at the carriage. The sun was also setting down and it looked like that sun has passed us. With all this, a dew like crust came up, which caused quivering with cold feelings. The speaker was feeling cold as well because she was wearing only a light gown with thin fabric headscarf.
In the next stop, they reached to a spot, which looked like a house whose ceiling was concealed under the sand. Only the roof top was visible.
After that day, various centuries are gone by and it looks like if only half of the day is passed. From that day, I comprehend that the horses of death are heading towards immortality.
In the literary analysis of Because I could not stop for Death, there are a number of symbols visible.
The symbol of children in third stanza demonstrates the typical human life stages or journey. Initially, they reach to the school and saw some children playing during the recess. The verb that poetess using here is ‘strove’, which means that they are putting real effort in playing that game. This also indicates the hard work for living a life. Just like these games, life is also a game, in which people puts in hard work to spend it. The speaker is not striving anymore and ending up in the grave now. The ring that children forms during play represents the circle of life as well. The circle is made starting from life to the end of death.
The setting sun in the field is the symbol of life that is ending. The sun going down symbolizes the life which is ending and the night is approaching in the form of death. The sun is present on sky that is far away from the real life and upcoming life time of death.
The symbols of children and sun show various elements that developed the entire poem. Because I could not stop for death by Emily Dickinson is another strive to know what are the possible scenes after death.
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