Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost Essay

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost Essay

Length: 1396 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



Robert Frost uses metaphor and symbolism extensively in ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’, developing deeper and more complex meanings from a superficially simple poem. Frost’s own analysis contributes greatly to our appreciation of the importance of metaphor, claiming that “metaphor [is] the whole of thinking,” inviting the reader to interpret the beautiful scene in a more profound way. However, the multitude of possible interpretations sees it being read as either carefully crafted lyric, a “suicide poem, [or] as recording a single autobiographical incident” . Judith Oster argues, therefore, that the social conditions individual to each reader tangibly alter our understanding of metaphor. Despite the simplicity of language, Frost uses conventional metaphors to explore complex ideas about life, death and nature. The uncertainty, even in the concluding stanza, that encompasses the poem only adds to the depth of possible readings.

One aspect Frost explores through his use of extended conceptual metaphor is the representation of life as a journey. The traveller, tempted by death, ultimately concludes that he has “miles to go”, where the repetition of the final line develops a sense of monotony, expressing the growing sense of enervation. Interpreted in a purely literal way the traveller is confronted by a simple conundrum: whether to stop or go. However, once read in context, Frost exposes the confrontation between “obligation and temptation” that encompasses both the poem and our lives. The traveller’s isolation from humanity and his exclusion from the woods whose owner “is in the village” perhaps mirrors Frost’s own sense of isolation. The change in rhyme scheme contributes uncertainty that, befitting of such a poe...


... middle of paper ...


...fall of snow and the unremitting “sweep” of “easy wind” appear tragically indifferent to life, in turn stressing the value of Poirier’s assessment of the poem. Frost uses metaphor in a way that gives meaning to simple actions, perhaps exploring his own insecurities before nature by setting the poem amongst a tempest of “dark” sentiments. Like a metaphor for the workings of the human mind, the pull between the “promises” the traveller should keep and the lure of death remains palpably relevant to modern life. The multitudes of readings opened up through the ambiguity of metaphor allows for a setting of pronounced liminality; between life and death, “night and day, storm and heath, nature and culture, individual and group, freedom and responsibility,” Frost challenges his readers to delve deep into the subtlety of tone and come to a very personal conclusion.





Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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

- Analysis of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is a very well know poem by Robert Frost. The poem appears to be very simple, but it has a hidden meaning to it. The simple words and rhyme scheme of the poem gives it an easy flow, which adds to the calmness of the poem. The rhyme scheme (aaba, bbcb, ccdc, dddd) and the rhythm (iambic tetrameter) give the poem a solid structure. The poem is about the speaker’s experience of stopping by the dark woods in the winter evening with his horse and admiring the beauty of the fresh fallen snow in the forest....   [tags: Robert Frost Poetry Analysis Woods Essays]

Strong Essays
825 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Robert Frost 's Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

- Robert Frost has been labeled as one of America 's greatest poets. He is known for his use of rural settings, his command of everyday diction, and his ability to give poetry a rhyme and meter similar to that of normal speech; he is also known to explore fundamental aspects of the human experience with his works. Frost combines these two characteristics in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” giving the outwardly simple poem a breadth and depth that allows readers to interpret it in different ways on different levels....   [tags: Stanza, Poetry, Robert Frost]

Strong Essays
1301 words (3.7 pages)

Robert Lee Frost 's Poem, Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Essay

- On March 26, 1874, Robert Lee Frost was born in San Francisco, California. He was not a poet when he graduated, instead he helped his mother teach in a school and deliver newspaper. Later, he moved to England where he published his poetry volume. In 1915, Robert returned back to America where he started his successful path in poetry. According to Robert Frost ibn Wikipedia.com, “he is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech”. In his lifetime, Robert was honored for his work by receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry, having schools and library are named after him and being awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition o...   [tags: Poetry, Robert Frost, Rhyme, Meaning of life]

Strong Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)

The Use of Literary Devices in Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

- The Use of Literary Devices in Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening In Robert Frost's poem. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” the speaker uses literary devices to show the reader the poem's meaning. Symbolism plays an important role in this poem. Robert Frost uses symbolism to show the correlation between the woods and village with heaven. Mythological symbolism is also found in this poem. when the speaker talks about the lake. it is a reference to Hel in Norse Mythology....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]

Strong Essays
797 words (2.3 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 ' The Road Not Taken ' And ' Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

- Poetry is a diverse and rich form of literature that allows one to openly express or leave underlying messages about any topic the author chooses. Poets have a variety of tools that act as multipliers, increasing the depth of the message the poet is expressing. Imagery and setting are often used most freely as the two have unlimited potential. Robert Frost capitalizes on that potential and is considered to be the one of the greatest American poets of all time. Frost implores the utilization of isolation and setting to give the reader a sense of personalized immersion....   [tags: Poetry, Robert Frost]

Strong Essays
1039 words (3 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)

Essay on Simplicity in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

- "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is a regarded as one of Robert Frost’s best pieces of work. However at a first glance, one typically overlooks the poetic finery of Robert Frost’s work. He embeds ambiguous meanings that allow the reader to take a dual interpretation of the text. The iambic tetrameter along with the simplicity of the poem conceals the actual meaningfulness. While creating a deeper meaning Frost also provides a perspective that gives off a remote and solitude feeling. The poem highlights the evening of a man who pauses to take a look at the beautiful scenery lying ahead of his long journey....   [tags: poem, struggles, stanza, life]

Strong Essays
913 words (2.6 pages)

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost Essay

- “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is about a man who is riding through the woods on horseback. Snow starts falling and the man is caught up in the beauty of the scene. He then ponders staying put and enjoying the view for a while. Just as it seems he is convinced to stay the horse puts up a fight, awakening him from his dreamlike trance. He then decides to keep riding, and the story concludes. The overall theme in this poem is temptation....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
518 words (1.5 pages)

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost Essay

- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost There are many things to look at when one tries to analyze a poem. Once he/she knows what the story is about, they could look at the speaker's point of view, along with many other things. For Example: setting, language, figures of speech, symbols, atmosphere and mood, characterization, theme and conflicts are just some of the other methods that could be used. Finally, the analyzer should say what the whole poem's underlying meaning is. Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is about a person the speaker, who stops near the woods when it is snowing out to take a break and look around....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
421 words (1.2 pages)