Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is about a man who is riding through the woods on horseback. Snow starts falling and the man is caught up in the beauty of the scene. He then ponders staying put and enjoying the view for a while. Just as it seems he is convinced to stay the horse puts up a fight, awakening him from his dreamlike trance. He then decides to keep riding, and the story concludes. The overall theme in this poem is temptation. There are enormous forces present tempting the rider to abandon all responsibility to everyone and everything at his final destination.

However, with a little help he holds strong and cannot be strayed from his path. There are two main characters in this poem, the rider and the horse. There is also an outside force of great desire that is represented by the woods. Which may not be considered a character, but greatly deals with the choice that the man is forced to make The setting of the poem is on the edge of the woods nearby a frozen lake. There is a peaceful and enchanting snowfall and the sky is very dark Imagery is used many times in this poem .

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The strongest example of imagery in this poem is when Frost explains the setting of the story he uses the words “Between the woods and the frozen lake, the darkest night of the year” leaving the reader feeling that he or she is sitting on a horse watching the snow fall and debating on whether or not to leave. This poem is overflowing with symbolism and after careful consideration this is how I interpreted such symbolism. Frost starts off by using the woods to represent an object of strong desire, a woman.

The owner of the plot of land is symbolic of the husband of the woman the rider desires. The act of cheating on one’s spouse is represented by the rider remaining in the woods to “watch the snow”. The horse is used to represent the mans conscience. It is after all the horse that convinces the rider to give up his foolish passion and get back to his journey. The horse also reminded him of the obligations that he has to those who await his return. The horse is representative of the part of man that thinks with logic and probability. The snow is an addition to an already attractive thing.

Just as a man who is attracted to another woman would be almost completely disarmed if she flirted strongly with him, the snow falling disarms the man, who is obviously a strong lover of nature. Staying in the woods would be immoral and wrong. The man’s conscience, which is represented by the horse, finally convinces him to go home to be with a woman of his own. This is symbolically represented by the line “And miles to go before I sleep” This line is repeated as his thoughts of responsibility and loyalty would have been repeated in his own mind.

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