“A Young Birch” by Robert Frost Poetry Analysis
In the poem “A Young Birch”, Robert Frost establishes the futility of existence despite having beauty through the use of symbols, structure, and imagery. Although the birch tree is beautiful, its life is meaningless and its death is unavoidable. The speaker describes the birch tree’s life, but in the end, the struggles that the birch tree faced were pointless. Frost establishes the birch tree’s beauty through the use of symbols in the colour white. The colour white symbolizes beauty and purity. Frost compares the birch’s beauty to the sun’s ability to be bright. “Soon entirely white / To double day and cut in half the dark” (ll 4-5) The speaker comments on the birch’s ability, being beautiful, to make the days twice as bright, establishing the blinding beauty of the birch tree. The colour white symbolizes not only beauty, but death. Frost uses this symbolism to establish the inevitability of death. “…crack it’s outer sheath / Of baby green and show the white beneath” (ll 1-2) Frost uses the speaker’s comment on the growth of the birch tree to establish the beauty that was always within the tree, but also death, which is apart of every natural living being. Frost establishes the birch tree’s beauty, but also the inevitable death in his use of symbolism in the colour white. Frost establishes the futility of existence through the use of symbols. The speaker describes the growth of the birch tree through the comparison of its size to different man-made objects, the cane and the fishing pole. The cane and the fishing pole are symbols of the birch tree’s growth. “At first to be no bigger than a cane, / And then no bigger than a fishing pole,” (ll 14-15) The cane and the fishing pole also represent the birch tree’s inevitable death. These man-made objects are made of wood, which are essentially dead trees. The speaker describes the ever-present force of death, even in the growing stages of life. Frost establishes a sense...
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