Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Brendan Orner Mr. Whewell AP Literature 3/21/13 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Theme: Isolation * The speaker appears to be telling this poem as if he is distant or far away from any other person * “His house is in the village though” (2) * People do not/cannot own woods * The word woods brings up the idea of an untamable wild area * “He will not see me stopping here” (3) This quote brings up the idea that the speaker is slightly paranoid * Instead of using a word like catch or find, the speaker decides to use the word see, as if someone is looking for him or directly at him right then * This also brings up the idea that the speaker wishes to be left alone * “The little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near” (5-6) The speaker is walking along at this point in the poem, when he sees a horse in the middle of nowhere * The horse also has human-like qualities, for it can think and has its own opinions, changing the thought that the speaker is alone after all * “The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. ” (11-12) * This is one of those times when a person is an a spot where it is eerily quiet, and yet because of this, they feel like someone is watching them * If someone is watching the speaker, then it furthers the idea that he is not alone * “And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep. ” (15-16) * The repetition of this line emphasizes the thought to the reader that the speaker has a long way to go until he gets ‘home’ * It never clears up the thought of if the speaker is ever truly alone out in the forest though Tone: Solemn and Indirect * “The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. ” (11-12) This quote is a great example of how solemn the poem truly is * These lines make the speaker seem to be alone, yet to be watched at the same time * It makes the reader feel sympathetic for the speaker since he truly is alone in the woods, and by imagining other people watching him, he is paranoid * When someone is paranoid, most other people view him or her in a condescending way (with a solemn attitude) * The poem’s message of loneliness is also said indirectly * “And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep. ” (15-16) These lines let the reader infer that the speaker is very far away from home * This home though could be inferred to be the speaker’s sanity or his family, both of which may be lost (or in his family’s case, dead) * “He will not see me stopping here” (3) * This quote has both an indirect message and a solemn tone * It is telling the reader that the speaker does seem to be alone, yet is being watched or looked for by someone else, and this makes him nervous * The indirect message given here is how the speaker really wants nothing more than to just be alone, without anyone else around to bother him