• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss Frosts use of language and setting in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening and compare with Desert Places.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss Frost's use of language and setting in 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' and compare with 'Desert Places'. 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' and 'Desert Places' both make use of language and setting to portray certain emotions and how the narrator feels towards these emotions. Both encompass the idea of loneliness and solitude, yet both deliver different ways of viewing such isolation. 'Stopping By' uses language to create an image of complete isolation within the snowy woods. The narrator talks about the setting fondly, speaking of "easy wind and downy flake". The use of 'easy' suggests a quiet and tranquil place, and with the introduction of the idea of 'easy wind', this suggestion is fortified. It could be said that the setting of the Woods is a reflection of his own feelings - whilst he is describing the place to be peaceful, we see that the narrator himself is at peace. Although we perceive the narrator to be alive at this point, there is evidence to suggest that the narrator may be dead, just a ghost floating through the memory of the woods - "between the woods and the frozen lake, the darkest evening of the year" - as if he is frozen in time to this one scenario. ...read more.


This implies that they do not usually, or have not previously stopped whilst on a journey. We are provided with a reason for this, which also ties up the idea of unease and exploration of the beauty of isolation together in the final stanza; "but I have promises to keep" - the use of 'but' renders all previous thought processes void, as it becomes apparent that the narrator does not wish to stop within the woods, due to such oaths preventing him from doing so. This reasoning is also backed up by the repetition of the next two lines; "and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep", referring back to the idea of death, suggesting that he is not willing to stop here, and die, in spite of the appeal of the description he has given of the woods. 'Desert Places', another poem by Frost, uses language to portray contemplation of nothingness within a possibly metaphorical landscape created by the narrator's feelings, whilst questioning the purpose of human life itself. The title "Desert Places" creates an image in the reader's head of a place devoid of features. The rigid compartmentalized structure of the poem portrays the regularity of life, and how it is meaningless and without purpose. ...read more.


Frost's use of setting and language impacts very differently on the two poems. In 'Stopping By', we see how the narrator seems to relish in the idea of isolation, as if it would serve as a guilty pleasure, and the language used to describe the landscape or setting portrays these feelings with great power, displaying the narrators emotive language towards how the landscape and his feelings coincide. In 'Desert Places', we see that the narrator does not feel the same way - he portrays a fear of being lost in the wide open space of nothingness, such as a large field, or the night sky, the setting of which is used to show his fear of isolation and solitude. We can see from both poems that Frost makes great use of language to create an image or setting in our head upon which a series of events can unfold; each new character brings with it a different twist on how the setting will interact with the character and how the characters feelings will edit the scenario. Even though both poems feature heavily the idea of solitude and isolation, the characters in each poem react very differently toward such notions. Will Lilley ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Robert Frost section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The last paragraph is quite generalised and needs to achieve a deeper level of comparison and contrast. The writer shows a good knowledge of both texts and an ability to analyse poetic techniques, but needed to structure the essay around their similarities and differences in order to avoid consecutive descriptions. ***

Marked by teacher Karen Reader 21/02/2012

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Robert Frost essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Write a critical appreciation of Mending Wall exploring how far you think that Frost ...

    3 star(s)

    Based upon his dislike for the neighbour, (Brought on by their opposite opinions of the wall) he portrays the man in a demeaning light. "Old stone savage armed", which could have been previously viewed as a sad thought, now becomes one of anger - it could be that Frost and

  2. Birches" moves the reader to interpret the deeper meaning within the poem. Frost uses ...

    "Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells, shattering and avalanching on the snow". The author uses alliteration to portray the shattering effect of the ice. This element of alliteration implies a breakthrough of the birch branches. Frosts' use of alliteration and gentle imagery heavily impact the reader's perception of the shells of ice.

  1. Stopping by the Woods On A Snowy Evening, Commentary

    The title of the poem is apt and introduces the reader to the setting of the poem. Assonance can be seen in the title which gives it a soft tone, the 's' sound in words like 'stopping', 'woods' and 'snowy' reiterates this.

  2. Robert Frost - The Road Not Taken, and Nothing Gold Can Say

    lines he says that less people had travelled the path and then later he says they have been travelled the same! I think what it means is that, the same number of people have been on both paths, but the overgrown path seems more interesting to hime.

  1. The poem 'After Apple Picking' by Robert Frost is one the most celebrated and ...

    The fist person narrative and reference to nature; "woodchucks", "apples", "boughs" help create a reflective tone in the poem. Frost capitalises on the reflective tone and attempts to use nature as a source of value and meaning within his life.

  2. Discuss some of the major thematic concerns in the poetry of Frost and explore ...

    This is shown in the "The Tuft of Flowers" as he eventually comes to the epiphany that "men work together...whether they work together or apart" as well as the incident in "Mending Wall" where he "let [his] neighbour know beyond the hill;/And on a day [] meet to walk the

  1. The presentation of nature in Robert Frost's poetry

    Paths in woods are ancient and deep-seated metaphors for the lifeline, to crises and decisions. The speaker does not know which road to take; neither of the roads is less travelled by. He has to make a decision and at the end of the day, the nature of the decision

  2. Write a critical appreciation of Robert Frost's 'The Wood Pile', noting to what extent ...

    It could even be said that the criticisms made by the narrator at the bird are the same criticisms we the reader would level upon the narrator himself. The line "like one who takes/Everything said as personal to himself" is most apt at reflecting how the narrator is like, though

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work