Through Dickinson’s effective use of symbols, metaphors, and vivid imagery, she creates a poem that takes the reader on a journey with death and immortality. The journey begins in the first stanza with the speaker being too busy to stop for death, so death stops for her. Death is personified as a kind suitor when the speaker says, “He kindly stopped for me-” (Dickinson line 2). Death picks her up in a carriage as if they were going on a date. The carriage in which death and the speaker ride is a metaphor for the way in which we make our final earthly passage from death to the afterlife.
The carriage becomes the symbol for the mode of transportation to eternity. While riding with death, the speaker becomes aware that there is another presence in the carriage; “The Carriage held but just Ourselves- / And Immortality” (3- 4). This is the first hint we get that the speaker doesn’t think of death as the end, but as a step on the way to eternal life or an afterlife of some sort. In the second stanza we see that the journey is not rushed, but is proceeding at a leisurely pace “We slowly drove-He knew no haste” (5). The speaker seems to be enjoying the ride and is not fearful of death.
So much so that she has given up the worries and joys of life in exchange for his kindness; “And I had put away / My labor and my leisure too, / For His Civility” (6, 7, 8). Death in fact, seems to be a friendly companion in her journey. In the third stanza, the journey resembles a life passing before your eyes moment that some claim you have at your death. It starts with a view of children playing; “We passed the School, where Children strove / At Recess- in the Ring-” (9- 10). The children at play represent the innocence of her childhood.
She then sees fields of grain that represent her growing into adolescence and then adulthood; “We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-” (11). The next line represents old age and the end of her life; “We passed the Setting Sun-” (12). Dickinson uses this whole stanza collectively to symbolize the passage of time and the journey of the speaker’s life as she passes from death to eternity. The journey changes in the fourth stanza as the tone is no longer one of leisure and melancholy; instead it gives us a feeling that death is claiming the speaker.
When the sun sets and darkness surrounds the earth, a cold chill almost always accompanies it. This makes the speaker wonder if the sun had actually passed her; “Or rather-He passed Us-” (13). The speaker soon begins to feel cold; “The Dews drew quivering and chill-” (14). It is then that she notices how inappropriately she is dressed; “For only Gossamer, my Gown- / My Tippet-only Tulle” (15- 16). She now begins to realize that the coldness and chill are not external, but internal.
It becomes clear to the reader that the coldness and the chill is death’s cold grip taking over her body. Somehow, the cold, dark, and eerie chill of the night seems unimportant to the speaker as her journey in the carriage comes to an end at the cemetery. In the fifth stanza, death, the driver of the carriage pauses “(…) before a House that seemed / A Swelling of the Ground-”(17- 18). The speaker is just starting to understand that this house is her grave. Dickinson uses house as a metaphor for her grave to make the speaker feel comfortable as she views her final resting-place.
Although her gravestone is barely visible, she somehow recognizes it as her underground home; “The Roof was scarcely visible- / The Cornice-in the Ground-” (19- 20). Death only pauses at this house, because although it is her home, it is really only a resting place as she travels to eternity. In the final stanza we realize that the speaker has already reached eternity when she says, “Since then-‘tis Centuries-and yet / Feels shorter than the Day,” (21- 22) meaning that although it has been centuries since she has died, it feels no longer than a day.
It is not just any day that she compares it to however; it is the very day of her death when she “(…) first surmised the Horses’ Heads / Were toward Eternity” (23- 24). Through her poem “Because I could not stop for Death,” Emily Dickinson succeeds in helping the reader visualize her interpretation of death and eternity. Eric Wilson writes, “Her “gaze” on death is scientific, empirical: focused, intense, patient, she examines the morphology of death before, during, and after its strike.
Economics,The first step in creating your proposal is thinking about topics. How can you do this? • Read newspapers – Providence Journal, New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post…. • Read magazines – The Economist, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated….
Economics,The first step in creating your proposal is thinking about topics. How can you do this? • Read newspapers – Providence Journal, New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post…. • Read magazines – The Economist, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated…..
The first step in creating your proposal is thinking about topics. How can you do this?
• Read newspapers – Providence Journal, New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington
• Read magazines – The Economist, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated….
• Listen to public radio
o Several Boston stations have great signals. WGBH is 89.7 FM.
• Think about what you enjoy in other courses you are taking. You can use the same topic
for two courses if you get approval from the other professor and let me know, too. You
must have separate papers for the two courses.
• If you are an intern or employee, ask your boss if you can do something for the office.
• If you are thinking about looking for a job in a specific industry or government agency,
look for interesting questions there.
Remember: You will need data that you can put into an Excel worksheet and analyze, and you
will need to use basic economics to analyze the topic. Find your data NOW!
Section 1: Topic Summary
Describe your topic, why it is interesting, and questions you would like to study
Section 2: References/Sources
List of at least five references (articles, books, etc.). See the attached list for some potential
sources. Follow the format in the Citation guide in Resources and linked on the paper
instructions. Do not just give a website!
Wikipedia is not an acceptable source on this list – but you can use it to find sources
Government websites are allowed. Give the full name of the agency and the website.
You should check the economics literature.
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