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Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :

Or rather ---He passes Us---

The Dews drew quivering and chill---

For only Gossamer, my Gown---

My Tippet---only Tulle---

[Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson] 

(i)  Who is ‘He’ and who are ‘Us’ ?

(ii)   Why did the poet say “or rather” ? What happened earlier in the context ?

(iii)   What did the passing of Death’s chariot by the setting sun show ?

(iv)  What made the poet conscious of her thin dress ?

(v)  What was the destination of Death’s carriage ?

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(i)  He is the setting sun. Us are the poetess and Death, who are travelling in Death’s carriage and pass the setting sun.

(ii)  Earlier in the context the poet had said that on her final journey in Death’s carriage, accompanied by Death himself, they passed the setting sun. Then she realizes that she is already dead and the carriage is her hearse. Since she is dead, it was not possible for her to pass the setting sun. So she corrects herself by saying that it was not they who passed the setting sun, rather it was he who passed them. Like Death and Immortality, the setting sun has also been personified.

(iii)  The setting sun signifies old age or the evening of life. The passing of Death’s chariot by the setting sun shows that the poetess had passed her old age or the evening of her life. She was now dead and was travelling towards her grave.

(iv)  The setting sun signifies the evening when the drew begins to fall and the night becomes chill. When the poetess and death pass by the setting sun, she realizes that it is evening and she is wearing only a thin, gossamer gown. This signifies that she realizes that she is dead and the sudden realization chills her. Till now the journey has been so pleasant that she has not realized that she is dead.

(v)  The destination of Death’s carriage was a house. This house was actually the grave of the poetess, her final resting place.

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