Life After Death

Essay by JodyUSMCCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2003

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Because I Could Not Stop For Death is about one of life's few certainties: death. This paper shows how the poem supports the authors belief in life after death.

Life After Death

Emily Dickinson's poem, Because I Could Not Stop For Death is about one of life's few certainties: death. In Because I Could Not Stop For Death, we are being told the tale of a woman who is being taken away by Death. This is the reader's first indication that this poem believes in an afterlife. In most religions, where there is a grim reaper, this entity will deliver a person's soul to another place, usually a heaven or a hell. This poem through only a few clues helps the reader to see that there is life after death in this poem.

First we see in the first stanza that the poem is talking about death stopping for her and "The carriage held but just ourselves- And immortality."

(671) The immortality hints to a life after death that you cannot die from. It shows that the afterlife is forever. That once we die and get carried off to the afterlife that we then are immortal and thus live on forever.

In the fifth stanza, Death and the woman pause before "a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground- The Roof was scarcely visible- The Cornice in the Ground" (672). Even though the poem does not directly say it, it is highly probable that this is the woman's own grave. It is also possible that the woman's body already rests beneath the soil in a casket. If this is true, then her spirit or soul may be the one who is looking at the house. Spirits and souls usually mean there is an afterlife involved. It isn't until...