Theme of poem "Because I could not stop for death" by Emily Dickinson

Essay by lilhothtowngurlHigh School, 10th gradeB-, February 2007

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"Because I could not stop for death/ He kindly stopped for me" (1-2) stated Emily Dickinson in her poem Death, written in 1924. The author uses many literary devices to establish that death is inevitable and you should not be scared of it. This theme is incorporated through out the poem.

As its title suggest, the poem is all about death. Emily Dickinson was a hermit. She often wrote about death and as some historians say that her parents also found some suicidal notes in her chest. This poem illustrates the journey of a person dying from the moment of death till he/she reaches his/her grave. She describes this journey of her leaving life by using symbols, and metaphors. The most significant symbol used here is the drive itself. The drive symbolizes Dickinson leaving life. She progresses in life, using metaphors, from childhood, "we passed the school where children played" (9), to maturity (the "grazing grain" (11) is ripe) and the "setting sun" (12), dying, to her grave.

She also uses the metaphor of house, grave. These devices contribute to establish the theme of the story. It helps the reader dig deeper into the poem.

This message is still important for our society today. The theme established in this poem makes people realize that no matter what they do, they can not escape death. This realization is very important even for society now because this helps us analyze our actions and try to change them so we would be able to live, the amount of time we have in our lives, to its fullest. Emily Dickinson does a great job at incorporating this theme in her poem Death, by using many literary devices.

Sourse used: Emily Dickinson's poem, "Because I could not stop for death"