At Least Half in Love With Debonair Death: Emily Dickinson's Attitude to Mortality - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare

Extract of sample
At Least Half in Love With Debonair Death: Emily Dickinson's Attitude to Mortality

The best way to gain insight into Dickinson's attitude to death appears to be to look closely at a few other poems by her on the subject. One such poem has her in the rather unusual role of an outside observer-"There's Been a Death." The opening stanza introduces the subject:
The poet may be a detached observer, but the keenness of the observation is remarkable. Not only does she note the 'numb look' which at least to her, is characteristic of a house in which a death has recently occurred, she also remarks on what other people might see and then forget:
The narrator notes, moreover, the minister's proprietorial approach, the entry of the milliner and of "the man/ Of the appalling trade" and the entire "dark parade" of "tassels and coaches". The poem ends with words that disavow any special insight on the part of the speaker and claim instead that this power of observation is second nature to country folk:
This fact is brought out quite easily in the most well-known of Dickinson's poems on death, "Because I Could not Stop for Death" (also known as "The Chariot"). In this poem the speaker (no doubt the poet herself) is a young lady of marriageable age and Death is a gentleman who has come to call on her, to take her out on a date. ...
Download paper


Death is the predominant theme of quite a few poems by Emily Dickinson. Other poets too have written paeans to death and elegies on the deaths of dear ones, but Emily Dickinson's attitude to death appears truly unique because of the delicately balanced ambivalence of her feelings on the subject.
Author : hmarvin

Related Essays

Emily Dickinson's "In A Library"
10 pages (2510 words) Book Report/Review
People Attitude Toward Death and God in the Holocaust
10 pages (2510 words) Essay
Death as Central Theme in "A Rose for Emily"
3 pages (753 words) Book Report/Review
Poetry by Emily Dickinson
3 pages (753 words) Essay
Emily Dickinsons Poems
5 pages (1255 words) Essay
A Rose For Emily
4 pages (1004 words) Book Report/Review
how imagery is used in Emily Dickinson's Because I could not stop for death
2 pages (502 words) Essay
Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!