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A date with Death

             Emily Dickinson, one of the well known poets of the Romantic period, grew up and lived the majority of her life at her childhood home in Amherst, Massachusetts. She lived with her reclusive mother and somewhat remote father (Barnet 444). As a result, she lived most of her life in solitude, leaving only six or seven times in twenty years (444). After reading her poem, "Because I could not stop for Death," it becomes evident that Dickinson personifies Death into a sensitive human being, along with the concept of time, to create an ironic theme of death. .
             In the first two lines of the poem, Death is referred to as being kind, which is striking because death usually carries the connotation of being grim, dark and anything but kind. The narrator then contemplates whether she should get in the carriage with death, which draws the reader into finding out where Death will take her. The last two lines of the first stanza explain the dramatic situation the poem presents. Dickinson reveals a third passenger saying "The Carriage held but just Ourselves/ And Immortality" (4-5). I think it may be significant that Dickinson decided to place "And Immortality" on its own line to magnify the importance of the second passenger. This second passenger seems to make the narrator more comfortable with her decision to get into the carriage because the thought of being with Death alone makes her feel death's aura of terror and uneasiness.
             Dickinson further extends the kindliness of Death in stanza two, where she writes, "We slowly drove, he knew no haste/ and I had put away/ my labor, and my leisure too/ for his civility" (5-8). These lines make him seem tranquil and polite. Since she views Death with no haste and stops everything she is currently doing for him, it seems that the speaker has begun to respect Death because the narrator is in no hurry to get to their destination. She also acts as if she is intrigued by Death because at this point she has put away all of her labors and leisure's that would not allow her to stop for death at the beginning of the poem.

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