The poem "Design" explores whether the events in nature are simply random occurrences or part of a larger plan by God, and if there's a force that dominates and controls our very existence. On that point both Jere K Huzzard and Everett Carter aggress on. They differ in their interpretations of the poem's ending and what they think Frost wanted to convey with his vague ending. Both agree that the last line of the poem was written in an undefined way with purpose on Frost's side. But each critic poses his own ideas regarding what is the meaning of that line. While Carter examines the whole poem in order to answer this question, Huzzard chose to focus only on the last two lines.
The heart of Frost's poem is a picture, which is described in the octave. We are introduced to three creatures the narrator happened to come across: "a dimpled spider, fat and white" (line 1), a white flower, and, held up by the spider, a white moth. Each creature is introduced separately, but all three are later on mixed together in the speaker's eyes, to demonstrate the rarity of their assembly. Carter refers to this description as ironic, ironies that nature presents to man. He sees the irony in the fact that the three creatures are described in a way that one wouldn't depict them normally, and their association with innocence. The spider is dimpled and fat, implying the sweet innocence of a young child, and it's unusually white. The flower is a heal-all, chosen specifically and ironically to invoke images of healing, of medicine. In the poem, however, the heal-all is responsible, in a way, to the moth's death. And like the spider, the usually blue or purple flower is white. The unusual whiteness i...
... middle of paper ...
...ith no design at all?" as for the third option, the last two lines could have been reversed, and the question that raises from the line "what but design of darkness to appall?" (line 13) would have read as a fact - "design of darkness to appall (!)." But since Frost hasn't done any of those since he is knows for his "deliberate ambiguity", Huzzard claims that the poem wasn't meant to be resolved in an explicit way.
For conclusion, both Carter and Huzzard agree that the poem wan not meant to end in an explicit way. They both understand Frost's reason to end the poem with an open line, a line that can't be read in one specific way. However, while Huzzard sees three different yet coexisting possibilities in the last line, Carter thinks that Frost meant to imply that one shouldn't read to much into small events in nature, such as the scene described in the poem.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Naturalism and Symbolism in the Poem "Design" by Robert Frost The poem "Design" by Robert Frost is a sonnet written about man's relationship with nature. Frost deliberately uses the form of a sonnet, using the octave for a discussion and the sextet for questioning the fact that there is a force that controls our existence. There are natural characters and some degrees of irony also that give this poem a naturalistic feel. Frost uses the style of a sonnet in "Design" to present a philosophical problem - who controls our destiny.... [tags: Poetry]
784 words (2.2 pages)
- Robert Frost's Design Robert Frost's "Design" is a meditation on human attempts to see order in the universe--and human failures at perceiving the order that is actually present in nature. The speaker of the poem perceives what he takes to be a significant coincidence, then speculates on what the coincidence might mean, or whether it means anything at all. However, he fails to see that there is a very good reason for the coincidence he spots, and the "design" of nature that it implies is quite different from anything he suggests.... [tags: Poetry Poem Essays Poet]
923 words (2.6 pages)
- Robert Frost's Design Robert Frost outlines an ironic and disturbing situation involving a flower, a spider, and a moth in his poem "Design". The poem's text suggests the possibility of an absence of a god, but does no more than simply beg the question, for Frost's speaker does not offer the answer.... [tags: Robert Frost Poetry Design]
1164 words (3.3 pages)
- Robert Frost's "Design" is a Petrarchan sonnet that questions God's design of nature and if there truly is a design to life which is illustrated through the use of irony, simile, strong imagery, and a rhetoric question. The sonnet is composed of an octave with the rhyme scheme of ABBAABBA and a sestet with the rhyme scheme of ACAACC. The theme of the poem is written with a sense of admiration for nature, but a skeptic mind for the meaning behind the design of life. The tone at the beginning of the poem is meant to be one of awe than somber because the main components of the sonnet: the spider, moth, heal-all flower, and cloth are all white.... [tags: nature, design, life, sonnet]
547 words (1.6 pages)
- Robert Frost’s “Design” is a poem of finding natural cruelty in the serenity of nature, a melody of understanding. Upon reading the first line, not unlike the whole poem, a joke in tone, rhythm is building up an image that grows into something else. In “Design”, the joking discovery progresses gradually through a sequence of conflicting images. . Frost uses imagery, allegory, and characterization to accomplish what could only be described as an American emblem poem. This essay will analyze Frost’s “Design”, interpreting the underlying message and overall theme Frost may have been trying to convey.... [tags: Poetry Analysis ]
1068 words (3.1 pages)
- In Robert Frost’s poem “Design”, the way in which the world works is questioned through the acts of a small, uninteresting, and seemingly natural occurrence. It sets the scene in almost the same way as a play, with characters, a setting, and a deep underlying thought that grabs the reader or viewer and asks for more attention. It asks whether there really is a meaning to life as we know it, or if everything that happens does so emptily without any meaning at all. The poem asserts specific attention on the matter of coincidence and irony in our world, and how that can be related with the possibility of an almighty super being possessing total control on the way our world i... [tags: Meaning of life, Poetry, Rhyme, Stanza]
1005 words (2.9 pages)
- Aesthetic quality is the most important characteristic of a poem. Poetry is an art form, and as painters use colours and techniques to define their works, a poet uses language. Symbolism, metaphors, and knowledge of past works, are the ingredients in which all forms of art are comprised. No matter what form art chooses it will leave a lasting impression on those considering it. In the case of the poet, the author must paint a picture in our minds, with the intention that we may question, remember, and appreciate, the beauty of what the poem is trying to say.... [tags: American Literature]
1067 words (3 pages)
- Robert Frost “Design” 2. The poem starts off with a white spider on a white heal-all which holds onto a white moth. Just the knowledge of knowing that it is a spider, not to mention a fat spider, it has a negative connotations because no one really likes them to be honest. Spiders symbolize death and mystery. As for the heal-all, it is a plant that is commonly used for medicinal purposes. The rhyme scheme and vowel sounds emphasized that they are ‘characters of death and blight.’ 3. The first stanza has an observative tone to it.... [tags: poetry, rhyme, ]
2253 words (6.4 pages)
- Redesigned: One poem with two faces Robert Frost wrote a poem – twice. The early version of the poem titled, “In White,” creates a simple scene filled with anomalies. For some reason, years later, the work beckoned for further attention. The poet complied and skillfully enhanced the work, rendering a finished poem that exceeded the scope of the original. Side by side, both versions of Frost’s poem send a nuanced message to the thoughtful reader. Open to interpretation, that message invites debate, an introspective feast.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Robert Frost]
1220 words (3.5 pages)
- Our world is founded on good and evil. Humans have grabbed hold of these abstract principles, interpreted them into foundations of government and religion. But there is still a powerful need to understand good and evil, to know whether our world is controlled by gods and goddess, animals, the sun, every single human on earth or nothing at all. With so many ways to interpret our existence, there are billions of ideas, ranging from the inanely simple to the thoroughly convoluted. But Robert Frost’s theory, published in the early 1900s, remains one of the most compelling.... [tags: Poetry Analysis, Poem Analysis, Poem, Poets]
515 words (1.5 pages)