Symbolism In Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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In “Because I Could Not Stop For Death”, Emily Dickinson uses imagery and symbols to establish the cycle of life and uses examples to establish the inevitability of death. This poem describes the speaker’s journey to the afterlife with death. Dickinson uses distinct images, such as a sunset, the horses’ heads, and the carriage ride to establish the cycle of life after death. Dickinson artfully uses symbols such as a child, a field of grain, and a sunset to establish the cycle of life and its different stages. Dickinson utilizes the example of the busyness of the speaker and the death of the sun to establish the inevitability of death. Dickinson uses the image of a sunset, the horses’ heads, and the carriage ride to establish…show more content…
Dickinson uses the symbol of children playing at recess to symbolize her childhood, the second stage in the cycle of life after birth. This symbol is used to portray the youth and innocence in the speaker’s first stage of the cycle of life. “We passed the school, where children strove/At recess, in the ring;” (9-10) A child is a sign of youth, innocence, and purity. Dickinson uses the speaker’s description a child to represent a time in the speaker’s life when she was experiencing her childhood. Dickinson uses the symbol a field of gazing grain to represent her adulthood and maturity, the third stage of the cycle of life. A field of gazing grain is ripe for harvesting. Dickinson uses this symbol to represent the time in the speaker’s life when she was aging and was ripe for death. Dickinson uses the symbol of the setting sun to establish the fourth stage of the cycle of life, death. “We passed the setting sun./Or rather, he passed us;” (12-13) The sun itself experiences the cycle of life and death every day. The sun is born at sunrise and dies at sunset. Dickinson uses the symbol of the setting sun to symbolize the time in the speaker’s life when she was nearing death and her eventual death. Dickinson uses the symbol of the carriage to represent the speaker’s experience of the final stage of the cycle of life, the transition from death to afterlife. The carriage is representing a…show more content…
Dickinson uses imagery of the setting sun, the horses’ heads, and the carriage ride to establish the cycle of life after death. Dickinson uses the symbols of the children playing, the sunset, the fields of grain, and the carriage to establish the natural cycle of life, from birth to youth to maturity to death. Dickinson uses the examples of the setting sun and death’s kindness to establish the inevitability of death. Through the use of various literary devices, Emily Dickinson establishes the cycle of life and the definiteness of
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