Death is inescapable, therefore demanding attention by all. Throughout American literature there have been many attempts on explaining death through whatever means comprehendible. Most commonly, people rely on their religion to reveal the answers for the questions associated with death. This approach is demonstrated in the poem, “Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children” by Edward Taylor. His religion dictates his attitude towards death and carries him through grief. There are also those who look at death from a much different perspective, less religiously. In Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I could not stop for Death”, she portrays death as a courtship. She adopts her own image of death disconnected from any religious view. No
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Not only does Taylor portray the death of his children to be an act of God, but a favorable act of God. He attributes the death of his children to God’s favor towards them, and in having his choice, chose them. There is no ambiguity in Taylor’s feelings about death when he writes, “Christ would in Glory have a Flower, Choice, Prime / And having Choice, chose this my branch forth brought / Lord, take't. I thanke thee, thou takst ought of mine”( 26-28 ). He surrenders to the will of God and takes pride in God’s decision to take his children. His Puritan beliefs compel him to not only accept, but to rejoice in this heart wrenching forfeiture ( Stanford ). He furthermore thanks God and requests that he take his children, which are a part of him, to heaven. Taylor ends the poem by writing “In joy, may I sweet flowers for glory breed / Whether thou get’st them green, or lets them seed.” He truly shows his servitude to God by proclaiming that he will have children just so God can take them, whether in infancy or later in life.
In contrast, Emily Dickinson a decade later had a much different notion of death. Dickinson came from a wealthy family and was well educated, however, she did not portray the religious determination that was expected. She was deemed eccentric by the community, logically, for her poems were unique for the era in which she wrote (American