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  • Date Submitted: 08/08/2011 10:36 AM
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Death and Impermanence: I used to live here once VS. Because I could not stop for death
Nick Bridges
April MacGrotty

When reading literature the reader is expected to analyze the story, and ultimately draw a conclusion on the meaning of the story he or she has just read. However, everyone is different and may interpret the story to have a different meaning than the author intended. After reading the two literary works: Because I Could Not Stop for Death, and I Used to Live Here Once, I came to the conclusion that even though ultimately the story can have similar themes the stories can be entirely different stories, and even wholly be about a variety of different things. The stories both represent death, but present it in totally different ways. Because I Could Not Stop for Death is a poem written by the widely famous Emily Dickenson, and the mysterious story I Used to Live Here Once is a short story written by (who I call a little less famous than Dickenson) Ryhs. Both although totally different literary works of art uniquely display death in one fashion or another.
Because I Could Not Stop for Death a literary masterpiece left to the world by the embarrassingly talented Emily Dickenson, is a poem that I decipher to be describing death.   In the poem death is portrayed, or personified, as a polite gentlemen suitor. Dickenson describes in the poem his politeness and civility. She (Dickenson) portrays the well known vehicle associated with death, the hearse, as a beautiful carriage. The carriage is the chaperone for the evening, and a silent one at that. In the story, death is a betrayer.   He uses his courtly manner as an illusion to seduce the woman, and because he was kind enough to stop for lowly old her, she agrees to go with him. Death in a way is portrayed in the story as cruel. The woman, apparently un-expecting, was not dressed for the occasion, or the long journey. The author writes that she is only wearing a gossamer gown and tulle...


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