Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

A Feminist Analysis of Dickinson’s Poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” College

1.      Introduction

Among different topics appearing in literary texts, death is one aspect that many writers will address. For ages, death has been portrayed as an ultimate bad character which is evil, disastrous but sadly inevitable. However in the poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson, she adopted a rare description of death and personified it as a gentleman caller who took a leisurely journey with her to the grave. Scholars have argued the possible implied meanings of the poem for long as her obvious desire of death is mysterious (Priddy 41). Adopting the research framework proposed by Priddy (214) and Semansky (24), this paper argues “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” is a statement about the unhappiness of marriage through adopting a feminist reading. The entire analysis presented in this paper follows Priddy (214) and Semansky (24) approaches in feminist reading of the poem with reference also to other scholars’ views and my own interpretations. It begins with explanations on how the poem expresses narrator’s complaints to the patriarchal nature of marriage though examining the first four stanzas of the poem. Then, her hopelessness...

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