Because I could not stop for Death— Questions and Answers
by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death— book cover
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What is a good thesis statement for "Because I could not stop for Death—"?

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Marietta Sadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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A good thesis statement should allow for debate and discussion. The main character, and the main focus in "Because I could not stop For Death—" is the personification of death. Death is presented as friendly and accommodating, but also as unavoidable and unbending. A good thesis statement, therefore, might be something like the following: Death is presented in an unfamiliar, comforting light. One might then draw upon other literature from the late nineteenth century to debate just how unfamiliar Dickinson's presentation of death really is. One might also debate whether the presentation of death is indeed comforting, or in fact disconcerting. It seems comforting on one hand: indeed, the personification of death is described as behaving with "civility." On the other hand, "Death" doesn't speak or pause. It continues relentlessly, inevitably, taking the speaker towards her death whether the speaker is ready or not.

Arlo Bates, an American author, once described Dickinson's poetry as...

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Jason Lulos eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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blackheart27 | Student

“Through Dickinson's precise style of writing, effective use of literary elements, and vivid imagery, she creates a poem that can be understood universally as the acceptance of death.”