Analysis of Robert Frost's Desert Places Essay

Analysis of Robert Frost's Desert Places Essay

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Analysis of Robert Frost's Desert Places


Robert Frost's 'Desert Places' is a testament to the harrowing nature of solidarity. By subjecting the narrator to the final moments of daylight on a snowy evening, an understanding about the nature of blank spaces and emptiness becomes guratively
illuminated. The poem's loneliness has the ability to transcend
nature and drill a hole through the mind of the narrator so that
all hope for relationships with man and nature are abandoned.

In the first stanza, ?snow? and ?night? are juxtaposed to
create a sense of loneliness and emptiness. Meaning is derived
from the effects they have on their surroundings and on the
narrator. Here, snow has the qualities of an arid and formless
white sheet. Anything it covers immediately loses shape and
form. Snow blankets the ground to hide what is there, leaving
nothing but a blank slate where more vigorous objects have been
seen before. Night parallels the snow in that it obscures vision
and generates an absence of light. These two stark agents of
oblivion occupy their surroundings to create the effect of
emptiness.

The effect of speed upon the nature of the snow and night
startles the narrator in the first line: ?Snow falling and night
falling fast, oh, fast? (1). They both fall with such rapidity
that the narrator almost misses the effects of the pair on the
field he ?looked into going past? (2). The envelopment of the
narrator?s surroundings becomes a jarring experience, as he/she
only has a few moments to observe what is happening. The
narrator is able to observe only the ?few weeds and stubble
showing last,? (4) as the dense blanket created by the ominous pair becomes apparen...


... middle of paper ...


...nkind is doomed by his/her own thought.
The ability of nature to obstruct vision mirrors mans? ability to
displace meaning. Man can eliminate nature, god, or fellow man
using this method, though this will leave us to be as lonely and
meaningless as the blank spaces that surround the void of infinity. The poem calls into question mans? ability to create
meaning from his/her surroundings. Is mankind really so desolate
and lonely? ?Desert Places? shows us that loneliness dominates
in the absence of light. A frightening statement about the
bottomless pit of loneliness is found within the repetition,
absence of description, and domineering nature of internalized
despair in Robert Frost?s ?Desert Places.?

Works Cited:

Frost, Robert. The Poetry of Robert Frost, ed Edward Connery Lathem.
New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1969.


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