Emily Dickinson’s: Because I Could Not Stop For Death And I Felt A Funeral In My Brain And How Death Is Spoke About

Emily Dickinson presents death in two very different ways. “Because of my inability to stop for Death” is a lighter portrayal. The speaker is transported into death’s carriage, and then she must accept her fate. “I felt the funeral in my brain” is more sinister and captures the thoughts of each speaker in their own casket. “Because my death could not be stopped” and “I felt the funeral in my brain” illustrate how people cope with their deaths and their mortality.

“Because of my inability to stop for Death” depicts Death riding in a hearse, or carriage. The poem’s main character, Death, is immediately introduced as the focus. He performs a human act; he stops for someone who is on his way. Although death is not real, Dickinson portrays him as kind and courteous to the speaker. The speaker travels with death and stops at four points. Anaphora ties the entire poem together, making it feel like the speaker is a part of death. When they finally “Pause”, the speaker is seen before “Another house that seemed / An swelling inthe ground”, which refers to a grave. The speaker has now accepted her death and is ready for the next chapter. “I felt a funeral inside my brain” is a grimmer view of death. The entire poem is almost a bad interpretation of a Hymm, due to the strict adherence and rhyme scheme. The speaker could be seen as either morbidly obsessed with death or simply going through a trauma against her will depending on how much sympathy you have for her. Perhaps she is just suffering from a horrible headache. When she repeats “those same Boots again,” it gives the impression that she has experienced something similar before. She can’t decide if she wants others around. She doesn’t like all the mourners walking over her at the beginning, but she does not like the fourth line where she describes solitude as being “wrecked.” She appears to be well-versed in religion, but she is opposed to the idea. She finally lost her thoughts and can be at peace when the floor caves in in “And then there was a Plank in Reason”,

Both pieces of literature are about death, but they end with the speaker’s death. Both “I felt an awful funeral in my brain” & “Because i couldn’t die” demonstrate how people react differently to death.



Kayla Russo is an educational blogger and volunteer and student. She is a 27 yo educational blogger and volunteer and student who loves to help others learn.

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