Essay on The Self and Society in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Essay on The Self and Society in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Length: 1020 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Self and Society in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening  


For the speaker of Robert Frost's poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," the time that he takes to stop and view the woods is unusual; his duties and responsibilities don't allow for him to linger. Even so, the speaker finds great pleasure in this unexpected pause in his journey. The binary oppositions present in the poem indicate that, regardless of his responsibilities, the speaker would like to remain in the woods and take in the scene set before him. For it is here in the woods that the speaker feels a sense of individualism; it offers an escape from the communal responsibilities with which he is laden. However, while the "natural" side of the oppositions within the poem seem to be privileged, the speaker finally chooses to lay them aside and carry out his duties.

The first binary opposition in the poem involves the juxtaposition of the woods and the village. The speaker recognizes that the owner of the woods lives in the village. But the speaker suggests that the owner "will not see me stopping here" because of the owner's responsibilities in the village (3). Apparently no one else is close by either. Clearly, the woods are a place of pleasurable solitude. As they fill with snow, the woods become a place of peace as well. The village, on the other hand, is not filled with snow, but with people and houses. Though it remains unseen in the poem, it is still a presence that contrasts with the woods as a scene of duty and obligation. Knowing what the village holds, the speaker wishes to remain in the woods.

The speaker, however, obviously is not used to straying from his responsibilities. The action of the speaker's horse proves this. As the spe...


... middle of paper ...


...scene in the woods. In any case, the speaker finds the woods to be a much more pleasurable experience than the demands of the village. Here in the woods he experiences a sense of peace and an individualistic self-fulfillment lacking in the village. However, although his desire to remain in such an environment is strong, his sense of duty and obligation overcomes him. Regardless of what he personally wants, the speaker decides to fulfill his responsibilities and travel those miles before he sleeps. Thus, in the end the privileging of the basic binary opposition within the poem between woods and village, self and society, seems to change. In the judgment of the speaker's action at least, duty calls.

Works Cited

Frost, Robert. "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening." 1923.  A Pocketful of Poems.  Ed. David Madden.Fort Worth, TX:  Harcourt Brace, 1996.  39.

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

- In 1922, a middle-aged Robert Frost wrote “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” in which the speaker spends “the darkest evening of the year” admiring the snow-filled woods (Frost 4). Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” uses heavy metaphors, emphatic repetition, and a flowing rhyme scheme to convey the speaker’s acknowledgment of a long, eventful life. In this poem of one man’s struggle between solitude and obligation, he shows us how life is truly in the journey, not just in the stops along the way, and that stagnancy just isn’t an option....   [tags: Poetry, Robert Frost]

Strong Essays
718 words (2.1 pages)

Robert's Frosty Woods - Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Essay

- Robert's Frosty Woods The mood of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is artfully set by saying "the only other sound's the sweep / of easy wind and downy flake" (11-12). These lines convey they beautiful tranquillity of solitude. Many critics argue that the dark woods of the poem symbolize death. It is equally as valid to say that the poet is describing the joy experiencing a peaceful moment to him; the relaxing mood of the poem as well as the realization that the traveler must move on provide evidence contrary to the interpretation that the woods symbolize death....   [tags: Stopping Woods Snowy Evening]

Free Essays
442 words (1.3 pages)

Essay on Perseverance in Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

- Perseverance in Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Epictetus once wrote, "First say what you would be; and then do what you have to do." This aphorism of self-discovery and obligation clearly describes Robert Frost's poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." In the course of the poem, Frost's speaker is confronted with two choices: he can either forget his problems or he can follow through with his responsibilities and make the most of life. It is through Frost's remarkable presentation of the speaker's thoughts that the reader may see how difficult this decision can be....   [tags: Frost Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening]

Strong Essays
1099 words (3.1 pages)

Death in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Essays

- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening  - A Stop for Death   Everyone feels burdened by life at some point. Everyone wishes they could just close their eyes and make all the problems and struggles of life disappear. Some see death as a release from the chains and ropes with which the trials and tribulations of life bind the human race. Death is a powerful theme in literature, symbolized in a plethora of ways. In "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Eve" Robert Frost uses subtle imagery, symbolism, rhythm and rhyme to invoke the yearning for death that the weary traveler of life feels....   [tags: Stopping Woods Snowy Evening]

Strong Essays
682 words (1.9 pages)

Contrasts in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Essay

- Contrasts in 'Stopping by Woods' The duality of the narrator's response to the woods is caught in the contrast between the relaxed, conversational idiom of the first three lines (note the gentle emphasis given to ‘think', the briskly colloquial ‘though') and the dream-like descriptive detail and hypnotic verbal music ('watch . . . woods', 'his . . . fill . . . with') of the last. Clearing and wilderness, law and freedom, civilization and nature, fact and dream: these oppositions reverberate throughout the poem....   [tags: Stopping Woods Snowy Evening]

Free Essays
667 words (1.9 pages)

An Analysis of Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Essay

- An Analysis of Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening   The images in the poem “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost are very vivid. . The man telling the story is telling events as they happened in his own eyes. His descriptive language allows you to picture the events in your own head, as if you were watching them occur. Frost structures this poem very interestingly. He uses inverted sentences, which are common in poems because of the way they seem to flow, the atmosphere they create, and also for the purpose of rhyming....   [tags: Stopping Woods Snowy Evening]

Strong Essays
531 words (1.5 pages)

The Two Worlds in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Essay

- The Two Worlds in Stopping by Woods "Stopping by Woods" The visible sign of the poet's preoccupation is the recurrent image of dark woods and trees. The world of the woods, a world offering perfect quiet and solitude, exists side by side with the realization that there is also another world, a world of people and social obligations. Both worlds have claims on the poet. He stops by woods on this "darkest evening of the year" to watch them "fill up with snow," and lingers so long that his "little horse" shakes his harness bells "to ask if there is some mistake." The poet is put in mind of the "promises" he has to keep, of the miles he still must travel....   [tags: Stopping Woods Snowy Evening]

Free Essays
442 words (1.3 pages)

Essay on Setting in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

- Importance of Setting in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening The season is winter, the time is night, but, . . .the scene, we are reminded four times over, is a wood. Woods, especially when as here they are "lovely, dark and deep," are much more seductive to Frost than is an open field. In fact, the woods are not merely "lovely, dark, and deep." Rather, as Frost states it, they are "lovely, [i.e.] dark and deep"; the loveliness thereby partakes of the depth and darkness which make the woods so ominous....   [tags: Stopping Woods Snowy Evening]

Free Essays
532 words (1.5 pages)

Analysis of Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Essay

- Analysis of Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening The poem, “Stopping by Woods…” speaks of a time that the author paused during a trip to simply enjoy the quiet and beauty of nature. During this short stop, he contemplates mortality and his life so far. Frost also cleverly uses the poems form and sounds to enhance the poem, to entice the readers senses, and immerse them in the scene. With repetitive “s” and “h” sounds throughout the poem one can imagine the sound of the sled sliding through the snow, or perhaps the “easy wind and downy flake” through the trees....   [tags: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Essays]

Strong Essays
690 words (2 pages)

Robert Frost's Desert Places and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Essay

- Robert Frost's "Desert Places" and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" Robert Frost takes our imaginations to a journey through wintertime with his two poems "Desert Places" and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". Frost comes from a New England background and these two poems reflect the beautiful scenery that is present in that part of the country. Even though these poems both have winter settings they contain very different tones. One has a feeling of depressing loneliness and the other a feeling of welcome solitude....   [tags: Robert Frost Poet Poems Desert Woods Essays]

Free Essays
1057 words (3 pages)