Because I Could Not Stop For Death
"Because I couldn’t stop for death" is a lyric poem, composed of six quatrains. It is one of Emily's Poems that deal with death. Here we see death personified. He is not frightening, scary or threatening, but a gentle guide who lead her to eternity. The speaker feels no fear when Death picks her up in his carriage; she just sees it as an act of kindness and politeness as if she is his date.
Death is introduced as the leading character and focus of the poem, performing a human action by stopping for someone on his way. Substitute Death as any guy's name: "Because I could not stop for Tom – He kindly stopped for me." ...view middle of the document...
This is another example of personification. The Death drives the carriage in a very slow speed due to many possible explanations. Perhaps, the woman is now dead and the carriage has been transformed into a hearse, and they are moving at the slow deliberate speed of the lead car in the funeral. Another Possible explanation is that it wasn't quick death, like from a gunshot wound. Perhaps this could be something more similar to death for long illness. The speaker doesn't really say, but we can look at the evidence she gave us to make guesses.
During their journey, the speaker starts noticing common things she may not have noticed before: children playing in rings, wheat growing, and the sun setting which may refer that it's getting darker and colder which set the scene of death. Dickinson comforts readers about the prospect of death by labeling the grave as “a House,” which may refer to her grave as she described it as "Swelling of the Ground," a clear image of fresh burial plot. So, this may mark the end of their journey, where Death brought her home and she is no longer dying but she is already dead, and laid to rest in her grave. At the end of their journey, time suddenly loses it's meaning; hundreds of years feel no different than a day. So, for the speaker, eternal life with God is so joyful that time flies.
All in all, the speaker encourages readers to have greater faith because somebody who has passed through life to death now has comforted them about what happiness they can expect afterwards.