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Because I could not stop for Death

Because I could not stop for Death


by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Do you believe the speaker's relaxed attitude toward death? Sometimes we pretend to be confident when we're nervous and brave when we're scared. Is this an example of that? Which lines of the poem support your opinion?
  2. Why might the speaker not fear death?
  3. If Dickinson were writing this today, do you think she could still illustrate the journey to death with as a carriage ride, or would that be silly? What would be a good present-day equivalent?
  4. Try reading the poem out loud. How does the sound of the poem affect your reading of it? Think about the action in the poem (the driving, the stopping). When does the sound mimic the action?
  5. The speaker seems to speak fondly and clearly of her memory of death. What do you think that means about the afterlife? How do you imagine the place where she now speaks from?

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