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Robert Frost's Use of Nature
Transcript of Robert Frost's Use of Nature
To convey life and humanity.
To find a connection between nature and humanity or differences between them.
Nature can be seen as a reflection of human experiences- just like humanity it can have seasons and life cycles.
Whatever a poet wants to write about can be related to nature and can give a poem more depth and meaning.
To make a connection between two different aspects in nature. Many of Robert Frost's poems use nature imagery. Many emotions such as anger, happiness, sadness and loneliness can be related to different aspects of nature and can therefore give a poem more meaning. Robert Frost is very successful at connecting nature to everyday human experiences. Robert Frost was most likely inspired to use nature in his poetry from all the places that he lived and visited throughout his lifetime Travels East with his mother, then returns back to San Francisco (Where he was born). 1876 1886 Moves to Lawrence Massachusetts to live with his grandparents. 1885 Sails with family to England. 1912 Moves to Dymock, Gloucestershire. 1914 Moves to New York. 1915 Moves to Amherst 1917 1928 Spends a week in Ontario, Canada. Sails to France with his wife and daughter.
Travels through England and Scotland. 1921 1929 Moves into a new house in Amherst. 1932 1934 Moves to a farm in South Shaftsbury. Moves to New Hampshire Returns to South Shaftsbury after a trip to Cuba. 1940 1962 Returns to Cambridge where he will live for the rest of his life, spending summers at Noble Farm and winters in South Miami. 1941 Travels to the Soviet Union. Travels to Key West with his wife Robert Frost uses the idea that just like the seasons change from Summer into Fall, Fall into Winter, and Winter into Spring, humans go through cycles too throughout their life. Robert Frost had a difficult life plagued with grief and depression which most likely contributed to his darker poems.
1885- Father dies of tuberculosis.
1900-Mother dies of cancer.
1920- Commits his younger sister Jeanie to a mental hospital.
1947-His daughter is committed to a mental hospital.
-His first son Eliot dies of cholera.
- His second son Carol commits suicide.
- His third daughter Marjorie dies of perpetual fever after childbirth.
-His fourth daughter Elinor dies three days after birth.
1937-Wife develops breast cancer and dies of heart failure in 1938. Not only did Robert Frost suffer from depression, so did his mother and wife. This idea of connecting personal life experiences with nature as Frost does in his poetry, illustrates his way of symbolizing humanity and human psychology. Robert Frost spent most of his life around rural places in England which most likely inspired him to use pastoral scenes so much in his poetry. He uses these scenes to depict a certain mood and also as a source of philosophical insight. Rural scenes, landscapes and other aspects of the natural world are used to illustrate a psychological struggle with everyday human experiences. Frost uses nature philosophically as a force against humans and portrays man's struggle with nature through his poems. Seasons, for example, have a symbolic significance in poetry.
Spring- Youth, newness, birth
Summer- Prime of life, happiness
Winter- Old age/ death, idea of running out of time Lines 3-5 :
"And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough" Line 8:
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off. The nature in this poem signifies growing old and the idea of "winter sleep" symbolizes dying and leaving the world possibly with regrets or without finishing something(which in this case is apple picking.)
-The literal and metaphorical meanings throughout the poem convey the narrators message of life and death. I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth --
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches' broth --
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.
What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small. D
N iMpOrTaNt PoInTs:
The Poem suggests that the ultimate design or way of nature is heartless and malevolent
Shows a more dark and sinister side to nature, which we usually perceive as being peaceful
Shows a philosophical perspective on life( contrast between good and evil and between light and darkness) OUR HOLD ON THE PLANET
We asked for rain. It didn’t flash and roar.
It didn’t lose its temper at our demand
And blow a gale. It didn’t misunderstand
And give us more than our spokesman bargained for;
And just because we owned to a wish for rain,
Send us a flood and bid us be damned and drown.
It gently threw us a glittering shower down.
And when we had taken that into the roots of grain,
It threw us another and then another still,
Till the spongy soil again was natal wet.
We may doubt the just proportion of good to ill.
There is much in nature against us. But we forget;
Take nature altogether since time began,
Including human nature, in peace and war,
And it must be a little more in favor of man,
Say a fraction of one percent at the very least,
Or our number living wouldn’t be steadily more,
Our hold on the planet wouldn’t have so increased. IMPORTANT POINTS
Nature can be destructive and powerful over man
There is a separation between humanity and nature
Some things that take place in nature are out of our control As a conclusion I looked at three different poems by Robert Frost that showed different views on nature. After Apple Picking: compared nature to humanity and used the setting of winter and the object of apple picking to symbolize growing old and dying Our Hold On the Planet: Illustrates the idea of nature having power over man and man being manipulated by aspects in nature-Not having control. The End. Design: Used a spider to show a more evil side to nature and that even things that appear good and innocent can do bad things