Study Guide

Because I could not stop for Death Love

By Emily Dickinson

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He kindly stopped for me – (2)

What a perfect gentleman Death is! He's so considerate to do for the speaker what she can't do for herself (start the dying process). This looks like the beginning of something special. OK, so maybe Death isn't the kind of guy you bring home to your family, especially if you like your family, nor is he someone you go on a second date with. But you'll have a darn pleasant one-and-only date together. It's pretty fun to picture him dressed up in a coat and tie (black, of course).

We slowly drove – He knew no haste (5)

She likes the fact that he's not some jerk who drives like a maniac. This is a pleasant drive, almost romantic. Can't you picture it? The sunset, the happy kids playing in the schoolyard. It would definitely set a girl at ease. She doesn't feel like he's putting her in danger, which is kind of ironic because he is ultimately going to kill her. But, you know, for the time being they're having a great time.

For His Civility – (8)

Death has really won the speaker over. It doesn't seem to take much to convince her that he's a gentleman – stopping for her, driving slowly and carefully. She definitely doesn't want to leave him, and she's given up all her worries to enjoy this ride.

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