"Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson, is a poem filled with symbolism, deep meaning, and rich language. Dickinson uses various literary elements to convey emotion as she takes readers through the narrator’s journey. Dickinson has influenced many writers since her poems were published, so it is important that students notice the different themes, symbols, and vocabulary she uses. Below are several activities to help students understand each part of the poem, grasp overarching qualities, and make a meaningful "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" analysis.
Evidence of Mortality and Immortality are seen throughout the poem. The speaker's entire outlook on death and the mention of “Immortality” in the first stanza lead to the idea that she believes in an afterlife.
Life after death is a sort of immortality, though not in the sense many might desire. In the last stanza, she uses the word “Eternity” to describe what she has just come to understand. She remains calm and has a ponderous tone as she recalls the ride she just took after realizing that she is actually deceased.