An Old Man's Winter Night Essay

1188 words - 5 pages

In “An Old Man’s Winter Night” Robert Frost uses various metaphors to show an old man’s life coming to an end. Frost’s metaphors are used in the themes of nature, isolation, and symbolism. Throughout the poem he uses analogies to enable the reader to view his work from numerous perspectives. His comparisons allows the reader to envision the oncoming death of the speaker. Frost’s analogies appeals to the reader because they are very pragmatic.
Nature plays a huge role in every poem written by Frost. Nature is displayed numerous times throughout this poem. In lines 1-3 it says “All out of doors looked darkly in at him through the thin frost, almost in separate stars, that gathers on the pane in empty rooms.” There is lots of nature displayed throughout this poem, frequently demonstrated in the form of personification. Also in lines 18-20 it says, “ He consigned to the moon, such as she was, so late-arising, to the broken moon as better than the sun in any case for such a charge, his snow upon the roof, his icicles along the wall to keep;”
All throughout this poem death is foreshadowed. In lines 1-3 it says “All out of doors looked darkly in at him through the thin frost, almost in separate stars, that gathers on the pane in empty rooms.” Nature is personifying death in these lines. The old man does not want to die yet, but death is looking right in at him and he cannot keep it away. Death is approaching the old man. There is also lots of imagery displayed in this line. The reader could envision being in the old man’s house on a winter night.
In lines 18-20 it says, “ He consigned to the moon, such as she was, so late-arising, to the broken moon as better than the sun in any case for such a charge, his snow upon the roof, his icicles along the wall to keep;” This shows just how empty the old man’s house is. The old man pretty much has nothing but a house. He has no family and he is so isolated from everything and everyone. I think the moon makes him feel as if he owns something because it preserves the icicles and snow on his roof. Maybe this is why he think the moon is better than the sun. When the sun comes up the snow and icicles will no longer be preserved and he will go back to the feeling of having nothing and being lonely.
Isolation is displayed numerous times throughout this poem. In lines 15-17 it says, A light he was to no one but himself where now he sat, concerned with he knew what, a quiet light, and then not even that. This shows just how isolated the old man is. Also in line 8 it says, “he stood with barrels round him -- at a loss.” This also shows how the old man is isolated. Maybe he isolated both physically, mentally, and emotionally.
In lines 15-17 it says, “A light he was to no one but himself where now he sat, concerned with he knew what, a quiet light, and then not even that.” This suggest that the old man is very lonely. It also suggests that maybe he has no family, and feels like he has nothing. Also “light” can...

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