Sandy CashProfessor BouchardENG 132Thoughts on “Advice to My Son,”March 25, 2012 Thoughts on “Advice to My Son,” In “Advice to My Son,” the theme is death and life. At first, the author is verynegative and is only talking about death. After, that the author is still negative, but is nowtalking about how hard life is, but to still try to enjoy it. Peter Meinke describes andshows all this by the symbols he uses in this poem. The first stanza deals with death in a very negative way. The poem talks abouthow death comes fast and how young people lose their lives in unimaginable ways. Thenthe poem goes on to talk about how for some people death comes slowly, if they survivethrough the hardships of life. This is shown by symbols; he uses “shattered windshield”and “the bursting shell” to refer to hardships of life (Meinke, 537). The last stanza deals with balancing life, even though life is tough, make sure youhave those special moments. A few of the symbols he uses here are “peony,” “rose,”“squash,” “tomatoes,” and “wine” (Meinke, 537). Peony and rose make me think ofbeautiful flowers that I enjoy, and used for special events. “Tomatoes” and “squash” areused as the symbols of the practical and helpful parts of life (Meinke, 537). Lastly, the“wine” is a symbol of special events, like a wedding (Meinke, 537).
The main theme in this poem is life and death. Meinke uses symbols to talk aboutdeath, and about life. For example, Meinke uses “wine,” “rose,” and “squash” (Meinke,537). These are just a few of the symbols that Meinke uses in this poem.
Works Cited Meinke, Peter. "Advice to My Son." DiYanni, Robert. Literature: Approaches to Fictioin, Poetry, and Drama. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008. 536-537.
Sandy CashProfessor BouchardENG 132Thoughts on “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”March 25, 2012 Thoughts on “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” “Because I could not stop for Death,” the theme is death, as in “Advice to MySon,” but it also seems to be about how sometimes people get extremely busy, but that isnot going to make death come later, so enjoy life. The narrator of this poem seems to begoing over their life, and realizing how time goes by quickly. Dickinson seems to portraydeath as this kind gentleman, which is different from how death is usually portrayed(“GradeSaver”). In the first stanza, it says, “Because I could not stop for death/he kindly stoppedfor me,” which shows how busy the narrator was. The narrator goes on to describe howbusy her life was by how she talks about “passing the school, where children strove,” and“the fields of grazing grain” (Dickinson 541). The narrator next says how time just goesby so fast by saying, “’tis centuries—and yet feels shorter than the day” (Dickinson 541).Life, in today’s world is very busy, from kids playing, students studying and doinghomework, to adults working and maybe taking care of a family. Sometimes people justneed to take a step back and enjoy life, and by not being so busy, for one day death willcome, no matter how busy a person is. Dickinson personified death in this poem by the following: “he kindly stopped forme,” and “he know no haste” (Dickinson 541). Dickinson also, makes death sound like
this kind gentleman, who is just helping the narrator go “toward eternity” (Dickinson541). This is quite a different view of how death is usually portrayed, for death is usuallyseen as a sad part of life. For Christians, at least death is not the end and we have a hope,that one day we will be in heaven with God, but for people who do not know God deathis very scary. The narrator of this poem talks about their life, and how the time just went awayso fast because she was very busy, so busy that death stopped for her. Dickinson makesdeath seem like this gentleman, who is bringing her to eternity (“GradeSaver”). The maintheme of the poem is death, and how no matter how busy people get death will come.
Works CitedDickinson, Emily. "Because I could not stop for Death" DiYanni, Robert. Literature:Approaches to Fictioin, Poetry, and Drama. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008. 541."GradeSaver." Emily dickinson. GradeSaver LLC, 2011. Web. 25 Mar 2012.<http://www.gradesaver.com/emily-dickinsons-collected-poems/study-guide/section1/>.