Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - Literary Analysis Essay Sample

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Literature review
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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is a sixteen-line poem that was written in 1923 by Robert Frost. The poem is about how the narrator stops his sleigh on one dark winter evening to enjoy the attractiveness of the falling snow. At first, the narrator is worried about the owner of the property becoming upset by him but remembers that the owner of the property lives in town. The poem is remarkably simple and contains four stanzas. The sleigh horse is fascinated by the master’s actions and stops far away from any farmstead. When the horse is overcome by impatience, it shakes the harness bells, which makes the persona halt enjoying the falling snow, and continue on his way. Therefore, this paper is an analysis of this poem by Frost.

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The Theme of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

The main theme that clearly stands out in this poem is the theme of admiration. It is common and natural for human beings to admire and have desires or be fascinated by someone or something. However, the scene in the woods, where he sees the falling snow, more than captivates the narrator of this poem. The theme of admiration is portrayed through the persona’s words where he describes the scene in the woods as dark, lovely, and deep. Additionally, in line fifteen, the persona shows his admiration for the woods when he states that he has miles to go before sleeping, and therefore he cannot stay any longer despite his desire to. Additionally, the setting or the situation of the poem is not literal. The poem is a representation of simplicity and an object of boundless complexity. The outlay of the poem seems to be something simple and something attractive. The persona describes the scenery in the woods as attractive and desired to stay longer. However, there is a discrepancy in the nature of these woods. The environment in the woods is described as icy and dark. The woods seem to be attractive and admirable on the outlay but literally, they may be malevolent and threatening. Therefore, the setting of the poem is symbolic. On the other hand, to some people, dark evenings and snow-filled woods represent a quenching scene where after a long day of hustle and tussle one can rest and relax. Therefore, the setting of the poem is symbolic.

What Is the Mood and Tone of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

The mood of the poem can be described as calm, hushed soothing, and comforting. The dark woods and the falling snow seem to be comforting the persona. The mood of this poem coincides with the thematic significance of the poem. The admiration of the falling snow in the dark woods indicates that the environment in the woods was soothing and calm for him to enjoy yearn to stay longer. The mood of the poem, therefore, indicates that dark woods do not portray malevolence but indicate a soothing setting. The title of the poem is significant to the content and its meaning. The title Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is catchy and gives us a hint of what to expect in the content of the poem. The first thing it tells the reader is that the persona stops by the wood. This raises the interest level to know what makes him stop at the dark woods on this snowy evening instead of going home. The poem goes ahead in its content to tell us about the beauty of the woods and how it caught the eye of the persona, therefore, answering the question posed by the title efficiently. The title also tells us about the current weather condition of the woods, which is enhanced in the context of the poem. For the above two reasons, it is reasonable to say that the title is significant to the content and meaning of the poem.

Literary Devices That Frost Uses in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

The poem has a couple of literary stylistic devices. One of these devices used in the poem is rhyme. In the fourth line, the words queer and near are rhyming. Additionally, the words shake and mistake in the sixth line rhyme. Another stylistic device used in the poem is repetition. The last line of the poem, And miles to go before I sleep, is repeated twice. Repetition in this case is used to stress the importance and distance of the journey that the persona has to embark on instead of staring at the woods admiringly. The poet uses imagery to create vivid pictures in the mind of the reader. The second last line where he describes the woods as lovely, dark, and deep gives the reader a pretty clear picture of how the woods look like and why the persona admires them greatly. Rhythm is enhanced in this poem by the use of internal and end rhyme respectively. Rhyming words give a sense of musicality to the poem.


The identity of the narrator of the poem is not crystal. First, one cannot tell the gender of the persona but from the poem, one can deduce that the narrator is a traveler who frequents that route. This is because he knows the owner of the woods and at the same time, he knows where the owner resides. This is not something one can just know without being a frequent visitor of that place. The author owns a horse and is self-cautious, as he does not wish to be seen by the owner of the woods admiring while at the same time thinks it is queer to stare.

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