Analysis of robert frosts desert places

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Analysis of robert frosts desert places

On "Desert Places" Albert J. Von Frank The poet sees the snow and the night descending together, black and white, working together to muffle sensation and obliterate perception; yet they work against each other, paradoxically, to heighten perception.

The snow works against the night, giving ghastly light whereby to see the darkness, while the fast falling darkness gives urgency to the need to see, for the opportunity will not last long.

What the poet sees is truly "for once, then, something. He knows it is a field because, for the moment, positive signs of its identity remain: Like the snow and the night, the weeds and stubble set up crosscurrents of meaning.

What the snow smothers, in addition to everything else, is the vital conflict which the juxtaposition of "weeds and stubble" suggests. This annihilation is figured as death, the ultimate weight of which in cosmic fashion smothers all life, leaving the poet alone in a dead universe, touched, himself, by the death that smothers.

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Confronted with the deadness, the spiritlessness, of the external world, the poet notes that he, too, is "absent-spirited"; he, too, is "included" in the loneliness, which Analysis of robert frosts desert places to say the separateness, of the universe of material objects. For Frost thus far in the poem the persona exists negatively, just as the field may be said to exist negatively.

More specifically, the field no longer a field, properly speaking is known as the emptiness which disturbs the continuity of the woods; similarly, the poet-observer is defined by his absent-spiritedness and thus by his isolation.

The analogy between the condition of nature and the condition of personal psychology is a romantic concept and one perfectly in accord with the ideas of Emerson or Wordsworth.

In "Desert Places," however, the implications of the analogy are necessarily and entirely reversed since what is analogous in the persona and the field is the quality of discontinuity.

For Wordsworth, and for many subsequent romantic writers including Emerson, the analogy between states of mind or dispositions of the spirit and the sympathetic universe was uplifting because it implied, or rather presupposed, an active positive alliance, a radical continuity, through God, between man and nature.

Nature lives and spiritually supports us, even though it is composed in large measure of inanimate objects, because we live and God has allowed us to invest it with our lives. Frost appears, in the first three stanzas, to have reversed these implications.

The analogy between man and nature appears operative, but the reciprocal relation is negative rather than positive; pluralistic rather than monistic; fragmented in its stress on aloneness rather than unified; deadly rather than life-supporting.

III The third stanza appears at first the weakest on several counts. The purpose it serves seems primarily mechanical. It is necessary to shift the focus from the poet himself back to the scene before him in preparation for the final statement in the last stanza.

Presumably the quondam field will become lonelier or less expressive than earlier because the snow is now deep enough to hide not only the "weeds and stubble showing last," but also the very contours of the land.

Since the annihilation of the identity of the field was earlier accomplished when all signs of its use, its pragmatic definition, were covered, this added touch may strike the reader as gratuitous or insignificant by comparison. The stanza does, of course, accomplish an intensification of mood, though again almost in spite of itself.

The gentle hint of "ere it will be less" must be rejected if these lines are to be read as a genuine concentration of despair. The implied rebirth in the necessary melting of the snow and the reemergence of the field as a real thing is an unassimilated lump of hope, working for the moment in stubborn defiance of the tone and meaning of the poem as it stands at this point.

It is, after all, that quantity which had defined the field and defined the poet; and because nothingness is thus the landmark by which realities are known, it becomes a real, and in a sense a positive, quality.

I have it in me so much nearer home To scare myself with my own desert places. The protestation of the first line appears to Reuben Brower "a bit flamboyant.

In other words, in explaining the sense of the last stanza Brower finds an implicit "but" before the third line. They cannot scare me with their empty spaces because I have it in me to scare myself with my own desert places. This assumption also needs to be examined, but first it is necessary to determine who "they" are in the opening line of the stanza and why they cannot scare the poet.

Brooks and Warren have suggested that "they" are astronomers, and, insofar as astronomers adopt an inorganic, physical, and scientific viewpoint and speak for a standard, accepted view of the universe, the suggestion is not amiss.

Analysis of robert frosts desert places

The tune is not in the tree, and the lesson of emptiness is not between stars. Here, in the last stanza, the major paradox of the poem is resolved. The third stanza asserts that the "blanker whiteness" had "nothing to express," though the deadly heavy pall of nothingness was itself a very considerable thing for the "blanker whiteness" to have expressed; and were it not for that very effective expression, the poem would have had no subject.

Realizing now, in the fourth stanza, that the idea of nothingness, of emptiness or aloneness, is generated from within the mind outward and not placed in the mind from exterior nature, obviously the "blanker whiteness" truly does not and can not express, but is a mere canvas on which the observer builds out his own inherent conceptions.

The tune is not in the tree; the tune of nothingness is not in the snow. Thus what seemed paradoxical in the third stanza is, when seen from the vantage of the fourth, a simple statement of fact. The "blanker whiteness" has "nothing to express"; it has, literally, no meaning.

If meaning does not inhere in nature, it exists only in the mind, just as Emily Dickinson affirmed.Oct 01,  · “Desert places” – personal analysis October 1, January 5, / InquisitiveS Sometimes, I watch a drama or a film of people together whether as a family, friends or lovers and I get a nice warm feeling inside as I marvel at the happiness and beauty of relationships.

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Analysis of Robert Frost's Desert Places Robert Frost's 'Desert Places' is a testament to the harrowing nature of solidarity. By subjecting the narrator to the final moments of daylight on a snowy evening, an understanding about the nature of blank spaces and emptiness becomes guratively illuminated.

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