Poem Analysis: Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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  • Topic: Metaphor
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  • Published : September 30, 2012
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Metaphor: “Figurative language that describes something as though it was actually something else… enhancing understanding and insight” (Roberts 357). Example: “The woods are lovely dark and deep. But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep” (Frost lines 13-16). Function:Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening,” expresses the intimation of depression saved by the realization of responsibility. In the last stanza of the poem, the world presents subduing solitude; it explores how the “woods are lovely, dark, and deep,” portraying simplicity and effortlessness (Frost line 13). That world of peace exists alongside the realization of commitments, obligations, and “promises” (Frost line 14). The metaphor in the poem sets the scene of a man who experiences suicidal depression. The character has reached the brink of defeat; yearning for a resolution, he “stops” for permanent rest (Frost line 6). The man’s journey ceases because he has reached the “darkest” point in his life, metaphorically (Frost line 8). The metaphor that is linked to the “farm house” implies that the character is in need of rest during a stressful or difficult period in his life (Frost line 6). The character may have had previous struggles in his life long journey, that would cause him to stop at a metaphorical “farm house” to rest (Frost line 6). Since the man “stops” in an unknown, but “lovely, dark, and deep” place, his “little horse might think it queer,” because this time he stops without a “farm house” near (Frost lines 5,13). But the man remembers all of the “promises” and responsibilities he must keep (Frost line 14). Even when dying seems easier, and “lovely, dark, and deep,” the man must ignore the siren, and proceed through life’s trials and tribulations (Frost line 13). This man stops in the midst of his travels “to watch his woods fill up with snow”; while experiencing the hardest, and “darkest” portion in his life...
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