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DICKINSONS BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP FOR DEATH


[2.] The theoretical foundation for aspects of this argument rests in part on the philosophies of such men as Immanuel Kant, who represents the notion of the boundary of human experience as a belt of mediation: "The sensuous world is nothing but a chain of appearances connected according to universal laws; it has therefore no subsistence by itself; it is not the thing in itself and consequently must point to that which contains the basis of this experience, to beings which cannot be cognised merely as phenomena, but as things in themselves" (Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, trans. and ed. Paul Carus [Chicago: Open Court Publishing Co., 1902] 124).
[3.] In The Long Shadow, Clark Griffith grounds this poem in secular traditions, as he points out that Death's stopping for the Lady-Poet reflects a "tradition of nineteenth-century 'courtly love' " (129), an interpretation which allows the reader to evaluate "Death as either kind or malevolent" (130) and "Eternity" (131) as a "pleasant" place or realm of "nothingness" (132).
[4.] In The Rhetoric of American Romance (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U P 1984), Evan Carton says, "To approach God, for Dickinson, is generally to shape a more satisfying . . . relationship between oneself and the universe . . ." (270).
[5.] Jane D. Eberwein, in Dickinson: Strategies of Limitation (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1985). argues that Death does not "launch the persona of this poem into another world" but rather leaves the persona in a "House" (218).

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