The poem “Storm Fear” by Robert Frost describes a scene in which “the wind works against us in the dark.” Throughout the poem, the frozen landscape acts as an antagonist fighting against man. In the classic novella Ethan Frome, author Edith Wharton also personifies the landscape. The village of Starkfield, New England during the harsh winters is also an antagonist, prohibiting the characters from communicating with each other effectively. Throughout both works the environment causes Ethan and the speaker of the poem to suppress their feelings until it is too late to act. Both authors use vivid and detailed imagery to portray a dark winter storm.
In the fourth letter when the fog and ice surrounded the vessel Walton said roughly, "...we beheld, stretched out in every direction, vast and irregular plains of ice, which seemed to have no end" (8). Another way that Shelley emphasizes the extreme isolation of the vessel is when Walton said sadly, "Shut in, however, by ice, it was impossible to follow his track" (8). Shelley used words like "no end" or "impossible" made the vessel seem extremely isolated. Question #9- As he begins his tale, Victor Frankenstein suggests that he has something in common with the Captain. Explain.
Jack London’s “To Build a Fire,” is a story about a man who travels only alongside a husky through the frigid conditions of the Yukon, and becomes a victim to Mother Nature. The man was warned before hand by an old man that he should not travel alone through the frigid Yukon. He ignored the old man’s advice and tried to prove to him that he would be able to cross the Yukon on his own. As the man traveled he was able to recognize the dangerous conditions around him and notice what it was doing to his extremities. Still he made no effort to slow down which resulted in his death.
For, when snow is brought up in the reading, it directly correlates with the theme of isolationism. The mountains also have another meaning planted within them. Victor Frankenstein climbs up the mountains to discover the creature in the book (69). The mountains always seemed so far away to Victor. The mountains represents the society of which Victor never fully joined.
He understands that he should not talk about her anymore, because that makes him feel more depressed. On the other hand, Robert Frost, did not lose someone he loved, instead he lost himself. Nature to him was more of a get-away, learning that eventually, everything has to go on. The young boy in the poem decides to swing on the branches of the trees, which would more effectively represent the man, leaving his responsibilities. He reflects on the thought of the cold ice storms bending the birches to create an unhappy tone.
To build a fire is a short story written by Jack London. It is a story about an individual’s choice. The main character’s self-centeredness overcomes him, as he tries to survive the wintery weather in his travel in the Yukon Trail. He made a choice of ignoring the weather warnings, which evidenced danger in his journey. There were warnings like the absence of fellow travelers due to the cold season, but his egoism made him still embark on the journey alone, despite the warnings.
The story teaches the readers that even though we may want to travel alone in the outdoors, we should always travel with some friends or stay within our limits. The man in the story is making a nine-hour trek across the frozen Yukon with only his dog in the biting cold, but after many calamities he freezes to death. He knew he was going to die if he didn’t get warm soon enough, but the cold got the best of him by freezing his arms.
In the short story, “To Build a Fire” by Jack London shows how man vs. nature and how inexperienced traveler in the Yukon tries to travel alone with his dog, even though it’s advised not to. Yet he is stubborn and thinks he is right, and sets off for Henderson Creek to meet his friends. He faces many different conflicts of man verses man, and man verses nature. The traveler is advised not to make this trip with the lack of his inexperience in the Yukon due to the weather, the incoming storm, and its advisories. With the subzero freezing cold temperatures that came with the storm.
The winter season symbolizes feelings such as isolation and loneliness. As we all know, the winter brings on snow, ice, wind, coldness and even further in depth darkness and death. Throughout the story we see Frome hide himself in the nature of the town. With the symbolism of nature we see Ethan hiding himself through the harshness of the winter. Quoting Book Rags “ Ethan embodies the somber and bleak landscape of Starkfield itself.” With that said we can see the importance of the nature on the character’s characteristics.
They feel that it isn't important and should be ignored. Despite all of these efforts the North is unable to escape the past. The gravestones may be covered with snow, but they are still there. Eventually the snow will melt and everyone will be able to see them. Even the ice palace, the attempt at a building with no past, falls victim to it.