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I picked the poems “Because I Could not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson and “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. Both these poems were narrative confessional. The subject matter chosen by both these poems to discuss was similar, but their perspective towards the idea differs significantly. In ‘Because I could not Stop for Death’, the speaker describes death as her fiance` and she can’t resist herself for the day of her wedding. It seems the speaker is waiting excitedly for that day to come. Whereas in ‘The Raven’, the narration was done nicely about the Psychological state of a man mourning for his lost love Lenore and this poem is more of a melancholy and sad type.

In “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, The speaker of the poem travels in a carriage with her fiance- the Death towards Immortality. Her journey’s just begun, she says her actual life will begin after the marriage, which she refers to as death, and the life after death the Immortality. The carts were pulled by horses. The journey of the carriage passes through the school children, the grazing grain field, and the setting sun. This can be easily related to childhood, adulthood, and sunset just like characterized by the setting. This symbolizes the life as we pass by. Even if we didn’t, the death comes to us is expressed in the poem as follows,

“We passed the setting sun, Or rather, he passed us”

The cart paused in front of a house that seemed like a swelling ground, a grave. Life gets paused at death. The poem ends with the lines saying that the horses turn their head towards eternity, which resembles the Immortality after death.

In “The Raven”, the narration of the poem is as follows,

On a dark December night, the speaker of this poem says that he is weak and tired, in spite of his tiredness he reads a book in the middle of the night. The explanation of the setting was kind of terrifying like all that midnight, weak and nothing more, sorrow, dying. He explains why he is still awake in this chilling and lonely night, he could not fall asleep as he kept thinking about his lady love named Lenore who is no more now. He could smell her fragrance on the sofa, which tells us that his thoughts were occupied by her memory. That gives the reader a clear idea about his mind filled with sorrow and uncertainty.

He suddenly hears the tapping sound at the door, he expects that it must be some late-night visitor. But he didn’t find anyone there except the darkness. After a while, he once again heard the tapping sound at the window sill and when he checked it out, he happened to find a Raven entering the room, and to his surprise, it sat on the statue of Pallas. Pallas is a Greek god for wisdom. Since the bird Raven is associated with death or more evil, in this poem, the bird sits on a statue known for his source of wisdom. Since the speaker is alone in his room, he begins to talk to that bird. Whatever he asks, the bird replies in one word, Nevermore. The narrator first asked the name of the bird, and to his astonishment the bird replied to him, “Nevermore”. He continued to chat further with the bird by asking Will the bird would ever go away from him, Any remedy for his sorrow, Will he would be able to reunite with his lady love Lenore in his afterlife, the bird merely replied Nevermore for all his questions.

The writer imagines the Raven as a creature from the land of the dead and as a Prophet in various situations. This poem is about love and the sorrow associated with her absence and his endless suffering due to this loss. He has been waiting for death, which is understood when he asks the raven about his doubt about whether he will be able to reunite with Lenore.

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When we compare the two works, we can see they both talk about Death and its waiting time. In ‘Because..’ the author passively waits for Death, she explains that even though we didn’t wish, death comes to us is expressed in the poem as follows,

“We passed the setting sun, Or rather, he passed us”

She says her real life begins after death, she refers to eternity as real life. It shows her maturity and understanding of death. Whereas in “The Raven”, the speaker was in great sorrow, after the death of his love of life. He sees death as an end to all his sorrows and uncertainty, even he sees death as an opportunity to unite with his lost love. His idea is expressed when he asks the raven,

“Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—”

“Because..” is a narrative poem written in four-line stanzas called Ballard type, whereas, “The Raven” is divided into 18 stanzas with 6 lines in each stanza. The Allegory narrative has been handled wisely in both poems. In “Because..”, when the cart passes through the school, grazing grain and sun, the speaker relates it to a secondary meaning of childhood, adulthood, and end of life. In “The Raven”, when the narrator explains about the visitor, he seems to expect someone else, as he says “late visitor” and “this it is and nothing more”.

Denotation can be seen in their work. In ”Because..”, the speaker describes the grave as a swelling ground, similarly, in “The Raven”, even though he knows it as a bird, he visualizes it as a prophet or a devil and comes from a land of the dead. The usage of rhythm and rhyme can be enjoyed throughout both their work along with rich alliterations.

In “The Raven”, the narrator uses Antagonist, when the speaker asks the bird about the possibility of reuniting with his ladylove, the characterization of the bird in this place is Antagonist, since the bird answers his wish “Nevermore”, although there is no character or force can be seen against the speaker’s point of view in “Because..”

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