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Because I Could Not Stop For Death

The poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” is characterized by a fast-paced introduction of arguments as presented by the author whereby she expresses a grim realization of death. It is captivating because of the manner in which the author has presented death. Emily Dickinson has used metaphors to advance her story from the comfortable assertion of immortality to the incomprehensible idea of eternity, thereby giving the audience an opportunity to interpret death based on their own understanding.

In this poem, the author employs both a calm tone in addition to metaphors as she explains the process of dying and entry into eternity. In particular, Emily uses metaphors, words that do not carry a literal meaning, to advance her story. In the first stanza, for instance, the lines “The Carriage held but just Ourselves – And Immortality” contain a metaphor that the author uses to introduce the audience to the idea of immortality and eternity.  In reality, the carriage represents the journey that people undergo in life. From the description provided, we learn that it is not an ordinary carriage given that it carried “Ourselves and immortality.”

The idea presented here is more than that of just traveling. Rather, it is that one of death in which a new life begins in eternity given that the carriage carries immortality with it. In the fifth stanza, the lines “We paused before a House that seemed/A Swelling of the Ground” contain a metaphor in which the word house is used to symbolize the grave. Literary, this may be considered as a resting place, either permanent or temporal. In the poem, however, we learn that the speaker occupies the house temporarily before she gets into life’s next stage as she continues with her journey to eternity. Without a doubt, Dickinson successfully uses this metaphor to illustrate the changes that take place in the transition from life to eternity.Because I Could Not Stop For Death


Work Cited

Dickinson, Emily. Complete Poems by Emily Dickinson. Sovereign via PublishDrive, 2016