In “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” Robert Frost demonstrates a dedicated person’s commitment to life. Despite the hardships and troubles that life carries, the speaker in this poem comes to the realization that he must continue living his life. He makes an important decision that is brought on in a question, which is triggered by the beauty of his surroundings. He decides that he wants to complete the life that he started because of the many obligations he is responsible for.
The speaker in the poem is a man who is on a journey through life. He is no different from any other in that respect. People are faced with daily challenges and disappointments and, in turn, want to give up. The speaker, on the other hand, has a strong sense of self and knows that he has “promises” to attend to and will not give up on them. For a certain time in the woods, he is taken away from reality. He is swept away by his calming surroundings into a free and worriless mind set. During his brief flight from reality, the speaker dismisses his duties; he is simply enjoying the peacefulness of the world around him. Although the speaker is so content in his moment of freedom, he is brought back to reality and shocks the reader with, “but I have promises to keep.” Frost is implying that this man is aware of his choices to either go on with life or to give up, and the speaker realizes that he has too much left that he wants to accomplish.
The language that Frost uses provides readers with a clear visualization of the scene and the sense of how it feels to be in such a setting. The language enables the reader to feel as though the “lovely” woods surround them, with the snow gently falling on them. The first line of the poem has a softening effect; the alliteration of “Whose woods” is very soothing and helps set the mood for the poem. Throughout the entire poem Frost chooses words that ...
Lynen, John F. The Pastoral Art of Robert Frost. Yale University Press: New Haven,1960.
Parini, Jay. Robert Frost: A Life. Henry Holt and Co: New York, 1999Robert
Robert A. Greenburg, James G. Hepburn, Robert Frost: an introduction. Henry Holt and Co: New York, 1961.