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"The Lockless Door" by Robert Frost
Transcript of "The Lockless Door" by Robert Frost
Born March 26, 1874 in San Francisco
4 time Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, teacher and lecturer
Wrote many popular and quoted poems
Suffered devastating losses in his life including the untimely deaths of his father, sister, two of his children, and his wife
With both parents as teachers, young Robert was early on exposed to the world of books, poetry, and reading
Some well known poems of his include: "After Apple-Picking", "The Road Not Taken", "Home Burial", and "Mending Wall" The title “The Lockless Door” represents the open future for not only the speaker, but also the reader. Since the door is lockless anyone may enter, but one has to choose to enter in order to do so. The man in the poem had to finally accept the knock to let it in. Frost tries to show people that everyone has “lockless doors” or open opportunities, and all one has to do to take them is to empty their cage of doubts. Anapestic Dimeter with some lambic and trimeter
4 line stanzas~ Quatrain "The Lockless Door" by Robert Frost
It went many years
But at last came the knock
And I thought of the door
With no lock to lock
I blew out the light
I tip-toed the floor
And raised both hands
In prayer to the door
But the knock came again
My window was wide
I climbed on the sill
And descended outside
Back over the sill
I bade a "Come in"
To whoever the knock
At the door may have been
So at a knock
I emptied my cage
To hide in the world
And alter with age “The Lockless Door” shows the past and the future at the same time, and shows the effect fear has on people. The individual is perhaps tortured or agonized by something of the past. Frost shows this theme when the door is knocked twice. The person in the poem does not open the door, but he acknowledges the knock. These knocks represent the regrets that the individual has had in his past, but also represents the open future the individual has when he accepts the being at the door. When the individual overcame his fear he stands up for the faults of his past and thus freed himself of his fate, “To hide in the world.”(Line 19) Theme T Title T P PARAPHRASE A Attitude The author’s tone beginning the poem is that of anticipation. The speaker had been pressed with an issue for most of his life, and the speaker could no longer ignore the knock. “I blew out the light, I tiptoed the floor.” (Line 5-6). After the speaker is pressed with the knock he attempts to hide. The author creates a mood of fear and question through the attempts to hide from the ever pressing and stressing knock which strikes the door. The reader then is pressed with expectancy, “I bade a ‘Come in.’” (Line 14). The built climax of suspense is soon relieved when the reader learns the speaker has taken a better route than to, “Hide in the world and alter with age,” (Lines 19-20). S Shifts A main shift occurs when the speaker stops searching for ways out of what lays ahead. In lines five and six the speaker does whatever possible in order to not answer the door. “I blew out the light, I tiptoed the floor.” (Line 5-6). However after the second knock, the speaker decides to answer to whatever is calling him and begins to take initiative. The mood shifts from that of fear and apprehension, to relief for finally answering the knock. After many years, a knock finally comes on a door that had no lock. The controller of the door blows out his light and creeps to the door, trying to hide. The man even raises his hands praying because he fears what lies behind the door so much. To the man's horror, the knock comes again. The man notices that his window is wide open, so he climbs onto the sill and looks outside. He leans over the sill and whispers "Come in" to the being outside. The man accepted the knock by allowing it in, and thus freed himself from his fear and denial. The man changed his fate of hiding in the world when he decided to stand up to the knock. C
Connotation -Imagery: "My window was wide" (line 10)
-Figures of Speech:
The recurring knock can be visualized as a certain truth or discovery that the man continues to deny. Not until the knock has presented itself multiple times, “But the knock came again,”(Line 9) did the man finally accept the knock.
"I emptied my cage" (line 18)
The cage represents his mind, relinquishing itself of all fear and denial
"And raised both hands in prayer to the door" (line 7-8)
The man turns to religion to give him a reason not to accept the knock.
-Diction: "tiptoed the floor" (line 6)
"And raised both hands in prayer to the door" (line 7-8)
Both convey fear and the attitude of the man toward the knock.
-Point of view: First Person
alliteration- "My window was wide" (line 10)
"And alter with age" (line 20)
onomatopoeia- "knock" T Title The Title of Robert Frost’s Poem, “The Lockless Door”, seems to imply an open gateway to something unknown. The character must choose to go through the door in order to find what he is truly hidden from.