Because I could not stop for Death— by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death— book cover
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How is death personified in "Because I could not stop for Death"?

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In this poem, Death is personified in such a way that he seems like a suitor, someone who is attempting to woo, or to court, the speaker. He arrives in his carriage to pick her up at her house. Further, his manner is "kindly" while they drive off, alone, together. Death, the suitor, drives the carriage slowly, not wanting to rush or to go too fast for the speaker's comfort; his care seems to imply that he feels some concern for her feelings. The speaker claims that she has laid everything aside in order to prepare for "His Civility": it is almost like they are on a date.

During their carriage...

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mkcapen1 | Student

The first example of personification within the poem is that death stops for the narrator.  This indicates that death has the ability to stop and go and get the person.  Death is kindly, a quality associated with a person.  Death knows no haste, ability to hurry, but death could only know something if he has a brain and can be cognitive of something.  Death and the setting sun are presented as "he" and have the ability to pass by one another. 

Emily Dickinson's whole poem presents death as a person who has come to get the narrator who is too busy getting on with her life to stop living.  Death arrives on its own and picks her up in a carriage but takes he time to take her past things that she enjoys as he takes her to his place.

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