woman in repose floating through the air surrounded by ghosts

Because I could not stop for Death—

by Emily Dickinson

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In "Because I Could not Stop for Death," what attributes does Dickinson grant to death and why is immortality present?

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In the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" by Emily Dickinson, the poet suggests several character traits for Death. Although she suggests that he is polite, civil, courteous and 'kind' there is also a darker tone where he is more threatening and intimidating. She suggests that just because she ,like many of us, will never feel ready for death, having much more to achieve before giving up life, death will still come. he is persevering and assertive even if that is in a quiet way. Even though he allows her to see happy images and histories for the last time, he does not stop the carriage which has become like a cortege, but has it drive on relentlessly towards her end. Polite or no, Death ignores her feelings.

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In this poem, Death is portrayed as a lover.  Death is a man who is really quite nice.  He is very kind and civil to the speaker in the poem.  So Death does not seem to be portrayed as a very scary thing.

Immortality is along for the ride partly because in those days any woman going riding with a man would need to have a chaperone along to keep things decent.  Immortality in particular is chosen for this role because Dickinson sees these two things as going together.  In dying we are born to eternal life, she seems to be saying.

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