The Modernist Period Of Robert Frost Essay

The Modernist Period Of Robert Frost Essay

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There have been many exceptional literary figures throughout American history, but very few are as revered as Robert Frost. Frost is considered to be one of the most prominent figures of the modernist period. The modernist period took place during the first half of the twentieth century, and it is characterized by its use of experimentation and belief in individualism (Rahn, 2011). After the death of his father, an eleven-year-old Frost and his family moved to Massachusetts, where he would spend most of his life (“Robert Frost and His Poems,” n.d.). New England is where Frost drew most of his literary inspiration and is the setting for most of his work. After a brief stint at Dartmouth College, Frost returned home, and in 1894 he sold his first poem, “My Butterfly,” to The Independent for fifteen dollars (“Robert Frost and His Poems,” n.d.). “My Butterfly” brought Frost success and recognition that prompted him to propose to Elina White, whom he wed in 1895. In 1913, while living in England, Frost published his first book, A Boy’s Will, and in 1916, he started his tenure as a professor of English at Amherst College (“Robert Frost and His Poems,” n.d.).
Frost received much acclaim at home and abroad for his literary works, and, over the course of his life, was the recipient of four Pulitzer Prizes. Undoubtedly, one of his greatest moments, was when he recited his poem “The Gift Outright” at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961(“Robert Frost,” n.d.). On January 29, 1963, Robert Frost died due to a heart attack while in Boston at the age of eighty-eight (“Robert Frost,” n.d.). Frost’s brilliance is on display with the exemplary writing and themes found in three of his masterpieces: “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Eve...


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...ion and cold, rational intellect could both be equally responsible for the end of the world.
The brilliance of Robert Frost is evident in these three poems. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” shows the darker, or lighter, side of his personality that is illuminated through his love of the beauty of nature and the longing for death. “The Road Not Taken” embraces non-conformity, which is a defining characteristic of genius. “Fire and Ice” also reveals a darker nature of Frost through his metaphorical destruction of the world by humanity and his indifference to how it comes about. Overall, Frost exemplifies literary brilliance, regardless of opinion on the themes and tones of his works, through his exemplary writing methods and cunning use of the English vernacular. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, American literary icons.

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