Essay on Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," seems to be a casual, ordinary story at first glance. In the poem, the author finds himself stopping on a deserted road to watch snow fall around him even though the sky is already dark. Yet a closer examination reveals a deeper meaning to this picture of a snowy night. Frost's poem suggests that death is not a dreadful end in which people should be afraid.

Frost begins the poem by filling a sense of danger into the reader. The location of the speaker is very distant. The second and third line says that the closest "house is in the village," and that people "will not see him stopping here." His isolation signals that the author is secluded in the woods and will not be able to find help if he needs it. The danger is greater than before because the hostile environment creates a very real possibility of danger. He is not stopping on a sunny day to watch the beauty of nature; he is stopping in the middle of the woods on "the darkest evening of the year." The "frozen lake" gives the reader a chilling effect, emphasizing that the surroundings are not welcoming. Clearly, the sensible course of action would be to ride to the nearest village as quickly as possible. The speaker's unusual decision to stop gives the reader a sense of apprehending danger. Even the speaker's horse senses the risk, "thinking it queer to stop without a farmhou!

se near." The reader is then given the image of the horse shaking its bells, "asking if there is some mistake." The horse shaking its head gives it a human quality. The reader can relate that image to a scared child shaking his head in fear of what is in front of him. The personification of the horse gives the reader a familiar image that he can relate to, further emphasizing the awaiting danger.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, Frost uses very casual and simple language in his poem. The whole poem has an iambic meter and a very structured rhym... Continues...

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Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:20, April 23, 2014, from