What is the extended metaphor that is used to describe the process of dying or thinking about death in Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death"?

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The extended metaphor to describe the process of dying or thinking about death is a carriage ride.

The carriage, as the title indicates, stops for the speaker because she could not stop for it. It is pictured as carrying the dying woman, Death (pictured as a gentleman), and "Immortality."

The carriage passes scenes the speaker identifies with life. These include children playing in a schoolyard and fields of "gazing" grain. The carriage also passes the setting sun, a symbol of death, perhaps suggesting that the dying speaker is moving into death. Finally, the carriage arrives at the speaker's new home, described as a "swelling" in the ground with a "scarcely visible" roof—in other words, a grave in a graveyard.

Dickinson makes the concept of dying memorable by giving it a physical and spatial reality, conceptualizing it as a ride in a moving carriage.

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In Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," the extended metaphor used to express the process of dying is the unexpected ride in a horse-drawn carriage that leads to the grave.

Death itself is personified as a carriage driver, who "kindly" stops for the speaker. But, the speaker's ride is a solitary one as there are no other passengers in this carriage. Nor is there any haste in this ride as the speaker has finished her worldly tasks of "labor" and "leisure."

As the ride continues, the carriage passes a school, fields of grain, and the sunset. Each of these symbolize a stage of life: Childhood, Maturity, and Old Age. Finally, they pause before a House that "seemed / A Swelling of the Ground--" whose "Roof was scarcely visible." This, of course, is the grave. But, it is only at this point that the speaker realizes--"surmises"-- that her carriage ride has been headed "toward Eternity."

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