Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening - Symbolic Setting

[email protected]

Robert Frost?s love of nature is expressed in the setting of his poem "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening." His elaborate description of the woody setting brings vivid images to the reader?s mind. Frost explains the setting so descriptively that the reader feels he is in the woods also

The setting is a very important tool Frost uses in writing this poem. The setting is obviously in the woods, but these are not just any old woods. Something caught the speaker?s eyes in these woods making them a special place for the speaker. It seems as if the speaker has associated these woods with an aspect of his "personal paradise". The peacefulness, tranquillity, darkness, and silence are all important parts of this "paradise". These aspects help the speaker escape from reality. The snow symbolizes the purity and peacefulness the speaker feels while stopping in the woods. (4) The darkness can symbolize many different things. Some times darkness would be considered evil or dangerous, but I do not think this is the case in this poem. I believe the darkness symbolizes the undisturbed atmosphere of the woods. Darkness may also symbolize the mystery of the yet to be discovered secrets deep within the woods. (8) The silence makes the speaker feel secluded from all other aspects of reality. (11-12)

Stopping by the woods provides the speaker with a temporary escape from reality. Frost does not ever tell what business the speaker is on, but you can assume it may be very stressful. This escape from reality is very important even in today?s world. This poem was written in 1923 and still has aspects of 20th century society.

The speaker knows he can not stay in this "paradise".(14) The speaker does not want to leave this spot, but he has made other promises that he has to keep. (14) I believe Frost uses repetition of the last two lines of this poem (and miles to go before I sleep) to emphasize the importance of this promise he has made, and to support the speakers reasons for having to leave. (15-16)

I am not a big fan of poetry, but this poem caught my eye because I am a fan of nature. Frost and I would have had a lot in common, his poetry reflects many of my own personal views of nature. I too find myself relaxing in the woods to get a break from the strenuous aspects of everyday life.

Nature has its own way of relaxing the mind and body better than any drug ever will. I believe Frost felt the same way and that is why we think on the same wavelength. Frost?s use of elaborate imagery helps other readers understand the peacefulness of nature. Not only is this poem an excellent example of the use of symbolism and setting it is also a great poem.