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Dickinsons Poems Evaluation Essay Research Paper Emily

Dickinsons` Poems Evaluation Essay, Research Paper Emily Dickinson’s poems, ?Because I Could Not Stop For Death? and ?I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died,? are both about one of life’s few certainties,

Dickinsons` Poems Evaluation Essay, Research Paper

Emily Dickinson’s poems, ?Because I Could Not Stop For Death? and ?I

Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died,? are both about one of life’s few certainties,

death. However, that is where the similarities end. Although Dickinson wrote

both poems, their ideas about what lies after death differ. In one, there

appears to be life after death, but in the other there is nothing. A number of

clues in each piece help to determine which poem believes in what. The clues

in ?I heard a Fly buzz-when I died,? point to a disbelief in an afterlife. In this

poem, a woman is lying in bed with her family or friends standing all around

waiting for her to die. While the family is waiting for her to pass on, she is

waiting for ?…the King…? This symbolizes some sort of god that will take her

away. As the woman dies, her eyes, or windows as they are referred to in the

poem, fail and then she ?…could not see to see-.? As she died she saw ?the

light? but then her eyes, or windows, failed and she saw nothing. This is the

suggestion of there being no afterlife. The woman’s soul drifted off into

nothingness because there was no afterlife for it to travel to. This is the

complete opposite belief about afterlife in Dickinson’s other poem, ?Because

I Could Not Stop for Death.? In the piece, ?Because I Could Not Stop For

Death,? Dickinson tells the story of a woman who is being taken away by

Death. The speaker in the poem clearly states that she will not stop for Death

but that it will have to come and get her. This is illustrated in the second line

of the poem ?Because I could not stop for Death- He kindly stopped for

me.? ?The Carriage held but just Ourselves-And Immortality.? The idea of

immortality is the first indication that this poem believes in an afterlife. In many

religions, where there is a grim reaper type spirit, this being will deliver a

person’s soul to another place, usually heaven or hell. In the third stanza the

speaker talks of how she and Death passed the school, the ?Fields of Gazing

Grain-We passed the Setting Sun.? This stanza is referring to the woman

looking bac on her own life as she is dying. This would not be possible

without an afterlife because if the soul were to simply drift away into

nothingness, it wouldn?t be able to reflect it?s lifetime. After this Dickinson

presents the idea of the coldness of death in saying ?The Dews drew

quivering and chill.? This is when we know for sure that the woman is in fact

dead. 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-.? Even though the poem does not come out and say

it, it is likely that this grave is the woman’s own. If this is true, then her spirit

or soul must be what is looking at the ?house.? In most religions, the idea of

spirits and souls usually mean that there is an afterlife. It is not until the sixth

and final stanza where the audience gets solid evidence that this poem

believes in an afterlife. The woman recalls how it has been ?…Centuries- and

yet feels shorter than the Day I first surmised the Horses’ Heads were toward

Eternity-.? To the soul, it has been at least a hundred years since Death

visited her, but to the woman, it has felt like less than a day. Because a human

body can?t live for hundreds of years, the soul is who has come to the

realization that so much time has passed. The final part with the horses refers

to the horse drawn carriage the woman was riding in when she passed away.

In those two final lines, the horses seem to be leading her into Eternity, or into

an afterlife. Finally, these two poems deal with similar topics however they

are entirely different in that on believes in life after death and the other does

not. These two poems raise the question in whether or not there is anything

after death, but that question is left to be answered until our final day on

Earth.

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