Robert Frost's Design Essay

Robert Frost's Design Essay

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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. By examining the events of the poem in the first stanza and the speaker's annotative second stanza, we arrive at the notion that perhaps the world is in disarray, and uncontrolled by a higher being.
The first stanza sets the scene as an ironic and unsettling one, containing gruesome images which seem to replace the notion of chastity with that of evil. The speaker launches the reader right into the action without warning in the first line, which reads "I found a dimpled spider, fat and white" (Frost line 1). The tone is personal, as though he were speaking to himself aloud, attempting to understand something. Also in the first line, he mentions that the spider is white, which is odd considering most spiders are of dark colors. "[D]impled […,] fat and white" sounds familiar to how one would describe an infant (1), implying the spider's innocence. Frost's spider sits "[o]n a white heal-all" (2), which is an herb that was tho...


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...bility to believe that a creator would allow such sin and cruelty to exist without doing anything about it, especially when this sin so overwhelmingly overshadows any good which remains in the world. Although much of the second stanza is interrogative, the poem ends with a period, not with a question mark, signifying certainty, not of a godless world, but of the notion that if a creator does live, his actions are senseless and incomprehensible.
In his sonnet "Design", Robert Frost puts forth his idea of an uncontrolled universe, either absent of a creator, or of a competent creator. He explains his theory by mapping out a natural bug-eat-bug crime scene, and the significance of something which seems "so small".

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