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"Because I Could Not Stop For Death" - Emily Dickinson

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by

Rebecca Williamson

on 22 January 2014

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Transcript of "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" - Emily Dickinson

Devices
Metaphor: Compares death to an expected ride in a horse drawn carriage.
Irony: The speaker is dead, but the reader doesn't know that she is dead until the end of the poem.
Imagery: lines 9-12, describes her surroundings
Symbolism: the sights she sees in lines 9-12 symbolize the various stages of her life.
the sunset symbolizes death
Conceit: Compares death to a ride in a carriage
Background
The poem is based on the death of Emily Dickinson's cousin who died without warning when she went for a carriage ride with a male caller.
Relation to American Literary Period
Romanticism
~ A period when an artistic and intellectual movement that ran from the late eighteenth century through the nineteenth century.
~ It stressed strong emotion as a source of aesthetic experience, placing emphasis on such emotions as sadness, horror, and the awe experienced in confronting the sublimity of nature.
Speaker
The speaker of the poem is a woman who died unexpectedly, but doesn't know she's dead yet.
Meaning
Purpose: To depict the unpreparedness that often comes with death, and to show how death is part of the process of life.

"Because I Could Not Stop For Death" - Emily Dickinson,
Prepared by Charlotte Stevens and Rebecca Williamson

Author Information
~19th Century Contemporary Woman Poet
~Never wanted to publish her work
~Wrote her poems on lose sheets of household paper and hid them
~Wrote poems for herself
~Death was a reoccurring theme in poems
~Driven to write by her fears, anxiety, and frustration.

Type of Poetry
~Lyrical Poem
~Personal and Emotions
~ Hopeful and Innocent
~Towards the end it gets dark and sad

Tone:
~In the first 3 stanzas, the tone is very light and joyful
~In the fourth stanza the tone begins to shift to a more confused state
~The main shift occurs at the 5th stanza, when the tone switches to sadness because the speaker realizes that she is dead
Renaissance Poem
~ When American literature branched away from European.
~ Uses metaphors and conceits
Work Cited
Cornus, Matt. "The American Renaissance."
SkyMinds.Net. Sky Minds, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2012.

Semansky, Chris."An Overview of Because I Could Not Stop For Death."
Galegroup.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.

"Because I could not stop for death." Dickinson, Emily. Elements of Literature. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2000. Print.

Dickinson, Emily. "Because I could not stop for death." Kathleen Daniel Ed. Elements of Literature. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2000. Print.

Socarides, Alexandra. " Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers."
Galegroup.com N.D. 21 June 2013.

Full transcript