...THE SUBJECT OF DEATH, including her own death, occurs throughout EmilyDickinson’s poems and letters. Although some find the preoccupation morbid, hers was not an unusual mindset for a time and place where religious attention focused on being prepared to die and where people died of illness and accident more readily than they do today. Nor was it an unusual concern for a sensitive young woman who lived fifteen years of her youth next door to the town cemetery.
Original Dickinson family gravestones
Photo: Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Original Dickinson family gravestones at West Cemetery
Emily Dickinson and Health
Thomas Gilbert (Gib) Dickinson
The Posthumous Discovery of Dickinson's Poems
Domestic Labor in the Dickinson Family Households
The poet’s death on 15 May 1886 came after two and a half years of ill health. From the time her nephew Gib died in October 1883 and she suffered a consequent “nervous prostration,” Dickinson became what her sister termed “delicate.” On two later occasions she experienced “blackouts,” and she was confined to bed for the seven months preceding her death.
During the 1880s Dickinson also endured the loss of several close friends - Charles Wadsworth, Judge Otis P. Lord, and Helen Hunt Jackson - and several family members, including Gib and her mother. The effect of these strains,...
...EmilyDickinson's poems "Because I Could Not Stop for Death", "I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died", and "I Felt A Funeral In My Brain" all deal with one of life's few certainties, death. Dickinson's intense curiosity towards mortality was present in much of her work, and is her legacy as a poet.
"Because I could Not Stop for Death" is one of EmilyDickinson's most discussed and famous poems due to its ambiguous, and unique view on the popular subject of death. Death in this poem is told as a woman's last trip, which is headed toward eternity. This poem helps to characterize and bring death down to a more personal level. Different from the more popular views of death being brutal and cruel, Dickinson makes death seem passive and easy. The theme of the poem being that death is natural and unstoppable for everybody, but at the same time giving comfort that it is not the end of a soul's journey. The reader can recognize the poem's theme by analysing its voice, imagery, figures of speech, form, diction and especially symbolism; all of which help the reader to understand the poem's meaning. The precise form that Dickinson uses throughout the poem helps convey her message to the reader. The poem is written in five quatrains. The way in which each stanza is...
...EmilyDickinson’s odd lifestyle of reclusion had a profound effect on the way she viewed certain aspects of life. The author was said to be an introvert, and permitted very limited contact to a small group of trusted friends. Although she was a very private person, readers get an intimate look into her thoughts and opinions through her work. A large number of her poems discuss death in a light that almost seems inviting No doubt influenced by her odd lifestyle. Her attitude toward dying is light and unafraid. In her poems “Because I could not stop for Death" and "I heard a Fly buzz--when I died" she shows the end of her life in her physical body, and the beginning of an eternal existence in the afterlife. "Many of EmilyDickinson's Poems dramatize of consciousness."(Cunningham,1). Most of her poems discussed the continued life of the mind and thought after physicality.
While most poets and writers speak of death as something to fear and one of the darkest parts of our existence, Dickinson puts a lightness and comfortableness to the subject. She describes a carriage ride with death that seems relaxed and accepting. “[…] The Carriage held but just ourselves- And Immortality” (3). She feels no fear as she is driven to eternity, passing school yards and fields along the way. Death slowly relieves her of all worries as the sun sets. It seems as if...
...EmilyDickinson's "Because I could not stop for death" and " I heard a fly buzz when I died", are remarkable masterpieces that exercises thought between the known and the unknown. Critics call Emily Dickinson"s poems masterpieces with strange " haunting powers". In Dickinson's poems " Because I could not stop for death" and " I heard a fly buzz when I died" are created less than a year apart by the same poet. Both poems talk about death and the impression in the tone and symbols that exudes creativity. One might undoubtedly agree to eerie, haunting, if not frightening, tone in Dickinson's poem. Dickinson uses controlling adjectives-"slowly: and "passed"-to create a tone that seems rather placid. For example, "We slowly drove- He knew no haste/ ...We passed the school.../ We passed the setting sun," sets a slow quiet, calm, and dreamy atmosphere (5, 9, 11, 12). "One thing that impresses us," one author wrote, " is the remarkable placidity, or composure, of its tone" (Greenberg 128). The tone in Dickinson"s poems will put its readers ideas on a unifying track heading towards a buggling atmosphere. Dickinson's masterpieces lives on complex ideas that are evoked through symbols, which carry her readers through her poems. Besides the literal significance of the "school," Gazing Grain," "Setting Sun," and the "Ring" much is gathered to complete the poem's...
...Journey of Death and Immortality
The theme of death and immortality has been approached in many different ways by poets. Emily Dickinson is one of the numerous poets who use death and immortality as the theme of several of her poems. David Baker writes, “Emily Dickinson is gloriously at home with death, her weirdly familiar afterlife, and the language of that other world” (Baker 2005). In her poem "Because I could not stop for Death," she portrays death as a kind gentleman who comes to give the speaker a ride to eternity. Through Dickinson's effective use of symbols, metaphors, and vivid imagery, she creates a poem that takes the reader on a journey with death and immortality.
The journey begins in the first stanza with the speaker being too busy to stop for death, so death stops for her. Death is personified as a kind suitor when the speaker says, “He kindly stopped for me-” (Dickinson line 2). Death picks her up in a carriage as if they were going on a date. The carriage in which death and the speaker ride is a metaphor for the way in which we make our final earthly passage from death to the afterlife. The carriage becomes the symbol for the mode of transportation to eternity. While riding with death, the speaker...
...A View to a Death
“Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill the blood!” (Golding, 168) In Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, this is the chant repeated countlessly by the littluns who are part of Jack’s tribe. Their chant is finally put to use in chapter nine of the novel when they murder the “beast”, who the readers knew was not in fact the beast but Simon. Chapter nine of the novel is not only centered on the events leading up to Simon’sdeath, but also the continuous struggle for power between Ralph and Jack. This analysis will cover multiple techniques used by the author in this chapter included the significance of the chapter title, setting, pathetic fallacy, conflict, irony, and allegory.
Golding foreshadows the death of beloved Simon in this chapter by naming it “A View to a Death.” Simon discovers that the beast is nothing but a dead parachutist. Although injured, Simon decides to go and tell the boys this truth but instead is mistaken by the boys as the beast itself and is viciously killed. This barbaric act was described in the chapter as “At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, stuck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.” (Golding, 169). Therefore, the title of this chapter “A View to a Death” was used to foreshadow the death of Simon....
...Emily Dickinson is one of the famous and fabulous female poets in the world. Her poems, for all their innovative brilliance, are nonetheless outpourings of her private feelings. And just like her great masterpieces, her enigmatic character will never fall into oblivion. EmilyDickinson’s poetry has been the focus of researchers, such as nature, love and death. But one fourth of her poetry is about the theme of death. Obviously, death is her most beloving theme of her poems. Death is always the endearing topic of many artists and philosophers. While in Emily's eyes, death is different from others. In her eyes, death is not dead, death is beautiful, fantastic and mystical which most of us couldn't understand and imagine. So we want to probe into the inner world of Emily Dickinson. We want to figure out the reason why Emily could imagine death in that unique and unprecedented way. We also want to get some new understanding about life and death through her works for we really need to keep a positive, lucid and quiet mind in secular society.
Death is the eternal theme during our whole life. If life is a river, it's always a river of death. Death is inevitable for all of us from the moment we come to this world. Death is...
...Primarily speaking, the necessity of death penalty has been the prolonged clamour of victims' immediate family and relatives of these predators who demoralize and disrespect the life of their preys. A plea for justice has always been the battle cry of these innocent victims who impatiently wait the verdict of this bureaucratic delayed justice system. Moreover, some of these convicts are generally given life imprisonment which in the long run can be granted with parole; years after repayment, vengeance is once sought after by these criminals. Though this humane world has been able to give a glimmer of hope for these prodigal sons to repent for the acts committed, the financial backwash should also be taken into consideration. The need to construct more prisons and jails is growing in leaps and bounds and the hungry stomachs of these people have long been siphoning our economic budget. On the long run, the taxes we pay are feeding these lackadaisical convicts more than the benefits we accumulate
For what we pay.
The first established death penalty laws date back to the Eighteenth Century B.C. in the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. The death penalty was also part of the Fourteenth Century B.C.'s Hittite Code; in the Seventh Century B.C.'s Draconian Code of Athens, which made death the only punishment for all crimes; and in the Fifth Century...