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Journey Through Life in a Carriage
Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” is a remarkable masterpiece that exercises thought between the known and the unknown. In Dickinson’s poem, “Because I could not stop for Death,” there is much impression in the tone, in symbols, and in the use of imagery that create an eerie yet peaceful mood for the reader. One might undoubtedly agree to an eerie, haunting, if not frightening, tone in Dickinson’s poem. Dickinson uses controlling adjectives—“slowly” and “passed”—to create a tone that seems rather placid. For example, “We slowly drove—He knew no haste / …We passed the School … / We passed the Setting Sun—,” sets a slow, quiet, and calm atmosphere.
Although not necessarily depicted as a sadistic murderer of innocence, death is indeed personified by Dickinson to a certain extent, as an unavoidable conqueror-- one hanging over us and around us,-- inescapable. The tone in Dickinson’s poem will put its readers’ ideas on a unifying track heading towards a boggling atmosphere. Dickinson’s masterpiece lives on complex ideas that are evoked through images, which carry her readers through her poem. Besides the literal significance of —the “School,” “Gazing Grain,” “Setting Sun,” and the “Ring”—much is gathered to complete the poem’s central idea. Emily brought to light the mysteriousness of life’s cycle. Ungraspable to many, the cycle of one’s life, as symbolized by Dickinson, has three stages and then a final stage of eternity. “School, where children strove”(9) may represent childhood; “Fields of Gazing Grain”(11), maturity; and “Setting Sun” (12) old age” (21). In addition to these three stages, the final stage of eternity was symbolized in the last two lines of the poem, the “Horses Heads” (23), leading “towards Eternity” (24). Dickinson fathomed the incomprehensible progression of life by...
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