Personification in Because I Could Not Stop for Death
Personification Examples in Because I Could Not Stop for Death:
Text of the Poem 2
"haste..." See in text (Text of the Poem)
In this context, the noun “haste” means “rush or “hurry.” By describing Death as knowing no haste, the speaker is commenting on the slow, leisurely pace of their journey. This description serves to further personify Death as a courteous gentleman, a sentiment echoed in the last line of this stanza. This furthers the notion that death is not something to be feared, but rather a natural end to the progression of life.
"kindly..." See in text (Text of the Poem)
Death and dying are central themes throughout a large portion of Dickinson’s poetry. In the first stanza of this poem, Death is personified as a gentleman caller, who kindly invites the speaker into his carriage. By personifying death as a physical figure, and one that is kind and courteous, the poet subverts traditional notions of death as terrifying or evil, to instead present death as a natural and inevitable part of life.