Robert Frost's Use of Figurative Language Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Figurative Language in Robert Frost's Poetryand "The Metamorphosis"

Robert Frost is one poet that always utilizes figurative speech in dramatic ways. By employing the literary techniques of symbolism and personification, Frost is able to craft many poems that make us think and feel about many aspects of life. This paper will examine several examples of Frost's figurative language and how they relate to the overall messages of Frost's poetry.

In his famous poem, "The Road Not Taken," the roads the poet are looking down represent life choices. In other words, each road becomes a decision the poet must make. This is a very effective use of symbolism because it gives us a fair representation of what making choices is all about. For example, when we make choice, seldom do we have the opportunity to change our mind and go back to the place where we were when we first began. This is indicated when the poet tells us, Yet knowing how way leads on to way,/I doubted if I should ever come back" (15-5). By using the roads as choices, we can understand what the poet is trying to say.

In "Design," Frost poses some of the deeper questions of life.

In this poem, the poet catches a glimpse of a spider with a moth in its mouth. He then begins to consider the design of life and, as a result, the spider and the moth become symbols or humanity itself. Interestingly, the poet contemplates a godless universe from such a seemingly insignificant sight. The poet closes the poem with the striking question, "What but design of style='color:#000;text-decoration: underline!important;' target='_blank' href='' rel="follow">darkness to appall? -- /If design govern in a thing so small" (13-4). This example of symbolism illustrates Frost's talent as a poet. From a simple observation, he is able to see the complexities of life and thus ask the most important questions.

In "Out, Out -- ," Robert Frost uses metonymy, a form of personification, when he describes the saw. We are told the saw his cut hand as if it had a mind of its own. Daniel Moran supports this notion, by stating, "This saw is no mindless tool; instead, it attacks the wood like a pit bull, snarling and rattling as the boy feeds it" (Moran). Additionally, the saw is a symbol for life and its responsibilities as we grow older. The saw prevents the boy from having his childhood because he has to do yard work, which ultimately costs him his life.

Another example of personification can be seen in Frost's poem, "Once by the Pacific." The poet tells us that the "great waves looked over others coming in" (2). The poet is describing the waves as having eyes and having the ability to look over one another as they roll in to shore.

Additionally, we are told that the clouds were "low and hairy in the skies/like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes" (5). These images help us see the waves and the clouds in unique way. In the Poem, "Mowing," Frost employs personification when he writes that his "scythe is whispering to the ground" (2). Additionally, personification can also be seen in the poem, "Mending Wall," when the poet says to his neighbor that his "apple trees will never across" (25) a fence nor will they "eat…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Frost, Robert. "Fire and Ice." Robert Frost's Poems. New York: Pocket Books.1971.

Frost, Robert. "Nothing Gold Can Stay." Robert Frost's Poems. New York: Pocket Books.1971.

Frost, Robert. "Mending Wall." Robert Frost's Poems. New York: Pocket Books.1971.

Frost, Robert. "Mowing." Robert Frost's Poems. New York: Pocket Books.1971.

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