Because I Could Not Stop for Death

How does the poet vividly explore the transition from life to death in the poem “because I could not stop for death.”

Emily Dickinson wrote the poem “because I could not stop for death,” in the late 19th century, this is known as the Modernist period, and surely this influenced the poem with pessimistic ideas, in the case it is specific to the theme death. Dickinson narrates her life from youth to her very death. In Dickinson’s case it doesn’t seem that she is afraid of death but more that she is accepting it. Dickinson also includes various literary techniques, which emphasises he person style such as her punctuation, internal rhyme, a specific meter pattern, anaphora, alliteration, and finally personification that supports the whole poem.

First, the poem starts with the title “because I could not stop for death,” this indicates to the audience that Dickinson is starting the poem with a strong and this means the first stanza is a significant one containing the main ideas the underpins the poem. Dickinson explains that “death-kindly stopped for me,” directly inferring that she is now dead. Stylistically Dickinson makes it seem that “death,” has human qualities, this effect is known as personification. However it may seem that death is carrying out a horrible deed but in fact the narrator is awaiting death as if she were a “bride,” and “death,” a “groom.” The narrator is convincingly being transported from the “coffin,” to the “grave,” During this time the narrator seems to reflect on her past life and seems to look forward to “immortality,” who is personified also as a passenger in the “carriage,” where is travelling in. Here the narrator is literally transitioning from life to death.

Furthermore, one cannot help notice the excessive use of punctuation in the form of dashes. Dickinson uses it to help with the flow of the poem and depict movement that syncs with other symbols in the poem. Such as in stanza three where it states, “We passed the School, where...