The Symbolism and Tone of “Acquainted with the Night” by Robert Frost

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Walking alone at night, for some, can seem like a peaceful thing to do, to help clear a person’s mind and let the day’s troubles disappear into the dark. For others, though, the night is when a person feels the most alone and must face their own demons. Robert Frost makes the night become that dark, grim and depressing time in which people reflect on themselves in his poem “Acquainted with the Night”. The first time reading the poem, one just simply thinks a person is taking a walk at night in the city, keeping to themself when meeting the watchman and listening to the sounds on the streets around, all the while keeping time by the moon in the sky as to when to head back home. But, when taking a closer look, the reader can begin to see the pain, grief and the foreboding feeling the speaker has about life itself, the feeling of being alone and wanting it to stay that way. It also shows that the speaker isn’t the only person with pain and grief on this night. The theme of Robert Frost’s poem “Acquainted with the Night” is depression and grief in the speakers’ personal life. Frost tells us this by using symbolism and tone in the lines of the poem. “I have walked out in rain – and back in rain.” The second line in the poem tells the reader that whatever troubles the speaker is having or has had is so much for this person, that when they walk in the night, it doesn’t matter what the weather is, they will walk and walk all night through the rain, trying to out walk their troubles. The rain can also symbolize life itself, always pouring one thing after another on a person, one stress after another, one heartache after another, and sometimes no matter how strong a person is, they can never get away from that rain. The following line, “I have outwalked the furthest city light.” tells the reader, in the literal sense, that the speaker also does not care about the distance as to which they will walk to try to leave their troubles behind. Or it can symbolize that no matter...
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