In the poem, Because I could not stop for Death, Emily Dickinson has employed various inanimate and animate images to signify death as a journey from one world to the other (Eagle, 2002). In the first stanza, the image of “Carriage” symbolizes the arrival of death as it marks the end of a man’s life in this mortal world. The images of “School”, “Recess” and “Children” depicts the journey of life from the stage of infancy “We passed the School, where Children strove At Recess – in the Ring" (Dickinson, 1960, lines 9-10). Similarly, middle-age is signified by the images of setting sun, as it depicts the ending of youth and start of the old age "We passed the Setting Sun" (Dickinson, 1960, line 12). In the fourth stanza, old age is signified through the images of gown and tippet, as in old age man becomes week and feeble "my Gown- My Tippet- only Tulle" (Dickinson, 1960, lines 15-16). Lastly, in the last two stanzas, images of the house and swelling in the ground represent a grave and the graveyard as the last resort of a man "We passed before a House that seemed, A Swelling of the Ground" (Dickinson, 1960, lines 17-18). All these images signify the various stages of human life from his infancy until his death.
Dickinson, E. (1960). Because I could not stop for Death. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, 223-24.
Engle, P. (2002). Dickinson's Because I Could not Stop for Death. The Explicator, 60(2), 72-75.
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