Escaping Society as a Way of Achieving Inner Balance in Robert Frost's Poem 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening'

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Grażyna Wiatrowska
I IB-MYP

Escaping society/civilization
as a way of achieving inner balance

In Robert Frost's poem 'Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening' the reader can notice a lot of quite different themes. They are sometimes hidden and not everybody can clearly see them. For me the most important one is the escape from all other people and achieving inner balance. I am an introvert so I suppose the natural thing to do is to assume that the speaker is one as well. Introverts don't like to be in crowded places, they feel uncomfortable and trapped there. That's why the speaker prefers to travel alone, just with his horse. If it's dark, cold and it's a long way to go, you usually travel with some company. I think that the speaker chose to go alone to have time to think through his decisions. He says that he doesn't want to meet the person who owns these grounds. I would even say that he's quite scared of meeting anybody (1-3). Fortunately, he stops in this quiet place, away from civilization and other people. All he wants to do is to 'watch the woods fill up with snow'. The speaker also mentions that it's cold ('the frozen lake') and very dark ('the darkest evening of the year'). After describing his surroundings he focuses on the sounds. He can almost hear the flakes falling and the wind blowing ('the only other sound's the sweep/of easy wind and downy flake'). From that I know that he likes nature and that he is very quiet. He is probably thinking about important things in his life. I can see them in the metaphor of a journey somewhere and all the promises that he has to keep (14). In the last stanza the speaker says that 'the woods are lovely, dark and deep'. What he means is that he wants to stay there for a little longer, he obviously really enjoys the nature and he feels good there, maybe to calm himself or just to relax from all the tension that living with other people brings him. I could almost feel the stress, he doesn't like meeting people...
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