An Old Man’s Winter Night
This is a very haunting poem about an old man who stands alone dying in a dark house in winter. His memory is failing him and because of that he doesn’t know who he is or why he is in the house but he stays there inside the house because of the gruelling winter weather outside. There is no sense that the old man is existing for anyone or anything, he is purely alone. He is alone not only because no one is with him, but also because there will be no one to remember him after he dies. He develops a fear of the cellar beneath him and the darkness that lies outside so he strikes the ground in an attempt to frighten the unknown rather than confronting his fears. Finally, he falls asleep in front of the fire only to be disturbed by a log that has shifted in the fire but in due course, falls into a deep sleep. Frost uses the dying fire as a symbol to his fading life. As the night goes on, the fire dims and the old man grows closer to death. He knows that eventually the darkness will consume him.The piece does not stray from the subject matter from the beginning to the end, continuously conveying the extent of how scared and lonely he is. Frost’s intention is clearly to portray the depth of loneliness that the old man is feeling in his old age and the emotions that accompany this. In terms of form, the poem does not have a traditional rhyme scheme and the lines vary in length. Frost uses many different literary devices throughout the poem such as imagery which appeals to our sight, touch and hearing senses. Frost has used Imagery such as “In clomping there, he scared it once again” which appeals to our touch because you can almost feel how he has stomped the floor to try and frighten off the unknown. He has appealed to our hearing senses by using personification, “like the roar of trees” lets you almost hear how the trees were thrashing around on the cold winter night. “That brought him to that creaking room was age. He stood with barrels...
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