Emily Dickinson's 479 And Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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Emily Dickinson is famous for writing about death time and time again. Her poem, 479 or “Because I could not stop for Death”, is no exception. The speaker within this poem is communicating with us from beyond the grave. They begin to describe their journey with death, who is personified or given human characteristics, in the first stanza by saying “Because I could not stop for Death-/He kindly stopped for me.” Dickinson starts this poem with the word “because”. This immediately assumes that the speaker is giving an explanation to an argument on death and why she could not stop. The speaker has no time for death as they are too busy living the life that they already have so Death, being the “kind” individual that he is, waits for her. This makes the poem seem more alive and active, unlike others who take on a more observant position. The civility that he shows causes her to give up on the things that has made her so busy- “And I had put away/My labor and my leisure too”- and enjoy the carriage ride that he takes her on. It is implied, to the reader, that the carriage holds just the two of them because of the capitalization of “Ourselves”, but this is quickly diminished in the fourth line by adding Immortality. Dickinson often will capitalize nouns to add emphasis to the term and to make the reader pay more attention to that specific word. In the second stanza, first line, we see a change in the use of pronouns, “We slowly drove-He knew no haste.” The subtle switch from
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