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Under the Microscope

“Because I Could Not Stop For Death:” Under the Microscope Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I Could Not Stop For Death,” is an interesting composition of the English language which commands respect and This literary work deals with mortality and retrospect of one’slife. It begins with the speaker’s recollection of the day she died, now viewed fromthe level of eternity. She is looking back on how things used to be, almost with asense of completion, as if her life has come to a satisfactory close. In the beginning,she speaks of how Death shows up at her door unexpectedly and kindly escorts herout to a carriage, marking her entrance into the afterlife. She then goes on todiscuss her ride in the stagecoach, along with her discoveries and recollectionsalong the way to her destination: Eternity. In this poem, Dickinson masters the useof symbolism, poetic rhythm, and sense devices.First of all, symbolism is strikingly apparent throughout the entire poem. However, the most noted and fascinating example of symbolism is apparent fromthe very first line. The reader becomes clearly aware that Death, referred to as “he”is more of a suitor than anything else. He cordially arrives in a carriage, beckoningher to join him in is pursuit of eternal life. She does not hesitate to join him, andtherefore begins to relish in the memories of her living days, which are now comingto a quaint close. Some critics believe this poem to have a sexual undertone, citingexamples. This observation is derived mainly from lines thirteen through fifteen,where a reference to the setting sun seems to hint at a bit of romance between Deathand the deceased. Then, the dew is said to draw a “quivering chill,” much like theexcitement of romance and love. Also, she is said to be wearing a gown of verylight material, so sheer that her body is visible through its fibers. The revealingnature of her...

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