Storm Fear Essay

Storm Fear Essay

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The poem “Storm Fear” by Robert Frost describes a scene in which “the wind works against us in the dark.” Throughout the poem, the frozen landscape acts as an antagonist fighting against man. In the classic novella Ethan Frome, author Edith Wharton also personifies the landscape. The village of Starkfield, New England during the harsh winters is also an antagonist, prohibiting the characters from communicating with each other effectively. Throughout both works the environment causes Ethan and the speaker of the poem to suppress their feelings until it is too late to act.
Both authors use vivid and detailed imagery to portray a dark winter storm. Frost starts the poem by describing the chilled atmosphere. In the second line, the author denotes a harsh winter storm that “pelts with snow.” This statement, along with the line mentioned earlier, indicates that the scene is working against the characters. The word “pelt” is a key word in this sentence. Pelt may mean to attack or assault, but it can also be another word for the hide of a dead animal. This implies that the snow is so harsh that it can be classified as deadly. The title “Storm Fear” doesn’t give off a positive connotation. . Rather than mentioning the beauty of a snowflake, or describing a “winter wonderland”, the author chooses to describe the winter as if it is looking to bring an end to something (or someone). It is referred to as a “storm”, not a snowfall. “Fear” also is not positive, as it can be defined as “an unpleasant emotion”. In Ethan Frome, Wharton’s dark description of the winters in New England is prevalent throughout the work. She refers to the winter as a “sunless cold.” (pg. 8). Harmon Gow even claims that “Most of the smart ones get away [from the winte...


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...than could have gone over to Mattie when he alone with her by the fire, but instead he has her move into Zeena’s chair. Wharton indicates that he is to “indolent” and “lazy” (pg. 77) to move over to her. Neither character can make the change and overcome the influence of the storm unless they put in the effort, and do so “unaided”.
In both “Storm Fear” by Robert Frost and Edith Wharton’s great novella Ethan Frome, the landscape is personified to fight against the characters. Frost and the characters in the novella are challenged by brutal winter storms that do not allow them to communicate with each other effectively. Only when it is to late do they say what must be said and do what must be done. In the end, the landscape leaves Mattie and Ethan crippled, and Frost snowed in. If they were able to articulate, things would have been different.











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Storm Fear Essay

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