"After Apple-picking" by Robert Frost

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After Apple-picking by Robert Frost

  • Symbolisms:

The “apple”:

In this poem, Robert Frost uses the symbol of picking apples to represent the speaker’s hard work and decisions throughout his life. In the Bible, the apple symbolizes knowledge; this analogy reinforces the knowledge gained from the speaker’s life experiences. “My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree/Toward heaven still” emphasizes that the act of picking apples can be interpreted as something related to religion. In the book of Genesis in the Bible, Eve was tempted by a snake to eat the forbidden fruit of the apple because the snake convinced her that eating it would make her more knowledgeable than God. This story can be related to the poem because when Eve eats the apple, she can go up the “ladder to heaven” because she is “omniscient” enough to do so. A freshly picked apple could also symbolize opportunities in one’s life. In the poem, the speaker does not successfully pick all the apples, this shows that there were a lot of opportunities in his life that he never accomplished. “Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough/But I am done with apple-picking now” show that the speaker is quick to give up on the opportunities he was offered during his life. The imagery of the thousands of apples that struck the earth and became bruised also means that the speaker has wasted a lot of opportunities in his life.

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Frost also uses “winter” to symbolize a long resting period or death. Towards the end of the poem, the speaker contemplates whether death is merely the state of hibernation, meaning that there is life after death or just “human sleep” where the speaker is able to wake up the next day only to find that he has to continue living his old life. In line 12: “And held against the world of hoary grass”; the word “hoary” means frosty, the poet has chosen this specific word in order to show the speaker’s pessimistic view about the ...

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