Interpretation of "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson In Emily Dickinson's poem, 'Because I Could Not Stop for Death', death is described in human characteristics. Emily Dickinson uses a great deal of personification to allow us to relate to this piece. She also uses the poetic technique imagery. This plays a big role in the piece because it allows us to kind of paint a picture to better understand it. In this piece of literature, the persona describes death as being gentle, handsome and well groomed. Perhaps a man coming to pick a woman up for a date.
The poem begins with the woman being surprised on how 'nice' death actually is. It wouldn't be right for a young woman to take a carriage ride with a strange gentleman by herself, so in this case Immortality rides with them, and supervises. Immortality is only mentioned once throughout this piece, because the woman is still much focused on death. People have busy lives, and don't think of their own death, however, the speaker admits that she was willing to put aside her "labor and my leisure too" and go with death. She seemed to find it pretty charming. She comments on "deaths" politeness.
If she had any expectations, they were certainly met. Emily Dickinson's 'Because I Could Not Stop for Death' also uses remembered images of the past to make clear of what is passing right before her eyes. She doesn't seem to be concerned with where she is going, in fact, she's enjoying the scenery. It may be possible that she knows she's maybe seeing these things for the very last time. These things were taken for granted in life, yet they become more meaningful as her journey comes to an end. Death has no concept of time or any concerns that someone would.
It is the Sun that is moving 'He passed Us', indicating the passage of time by its daily course across the sky. The carriage here seems to be going so slowly as to be nearly motionless. Furthermore, night appears to be falling, and chilly dew is settling in. The references to the thinness of the woman's clothing (her gossamer gown and her tulle tippet) suggest that she is growing cold and yet, another reminder that she is now dead or dying. 'We paused before a House' this "House" is her grave. She does not describe how long they 'paused' there, but it could not have been long.
This seems to be just a weigh station, though the woman does not seem to know it at this point. This is where her body will be housed while her soul journeys onward. She describes the house as a 'Swelling of the Ground,' an image of a fresh burial plot. She can hardly see the roof; it is only just visible above the pile of the earth. Where she will end up is still a mystery.
In Conclusion, personification and imagery are a very important part to this poem. Without these two techniques, my guess to what these words meant would have been pretty far fetched, and there wouldn't be a clear enough image for myself to paint..