Analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Essay

Analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Essay

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Analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


Diction (i.e. choice of vocabulary) The diction of "Stopping by Woods
on a Snowy Evening" is extremely simple. None of the vocabulary is
difficult or unusual, and most of the most of the words are short and
plain, for example 'woods', 'house', 'snow', 'horse'. None of the
descriptions, either of the setting, or the horse, is detailed or
elaborate: the horse is simply, 'little'; the lake is 'frozen' (but we
learn nothing else about it), and the only time more than one
adjective is used to described anything is when we are told that the
woods are: 'lovely, dark and deep'.

One major effect of such plain and simple diction is to give the poem
a fairy tale quality. This is because, in fairy tales, the settings
could be 'anywhere' and 'nowhere' in particular. Fairy tales tend to
avoid describing their settings in great detail so that readers from
any country and culture can identify with them, and can recognize and
respond to the 'universe' significance of the situations in the tales.

Verb Tenses Another crucial aspect of the diction in "Stopping by
Woods on a Snowy Evening" is the fact that the entire poem is spoken
in the present tense. For example, line 1: 'Whose woods these are I
think I know'. This choice of tense has two important and powerful
effects on the impact and meaning of the poem:

· Continuous use of the present tense creates a strong sense of
vividness and immediacy. This is because it seems as if the speaker is
reporting events 'live' and as they happen. For example, 'My horse
gives his harness bells a shake'.

· The second important effect of the use of only the...


... middle of paper ...


...in terms of sound, the only
thing which prevented each stanza being completely isolated was that
each one had an 'odd' third line which did not rhyme with every other
line in the same stanza, but introduced the rhyme in the next stanza
instead.

But in stanza 4: For the first - and only - time every line rhymes:
'deep', 'keep', 'sleep', 'sleep'. The fact that every line rhymes in
the final stanza gives a finality to the poem which has come to an
end. The purpose is quite obvious: the poet has come to the end of his
poem but what is more important is that although he deeply regrets
that he must move on (because he has a promise to keep), he still has
a long way to go before he can break for sleep. Though he would love
to take his time to enjoy the night, he must, however, gather his
meandering thoughts and move on.

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