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Between Wishes And Beliefs In Wild Grapes

2378 words - 10 pages

Between Wishes and Beliefs in Wild Grapes

      In "Wild Grapes," Robert Frost demonstrates the complex thoughts and struggles of a woman who lives her life, wishing that she had gained a knowledge that would have made her life different. At the same time, she hopes to preserve the exhilarating way she lives her life. Through the use of character portrayal, metaphor, symbolism, and diction, Robert Frost suggests to the reader that although people know that they should prepare themselves to walk through life, they still listen to their hearts, which causes them to be unprepared for what lies ahead of them. The poem starts with the woman telling a story from her youth, which is engraved traumatically in her mind.


The story that the woman describes is about an incident that happens when her brother takes her to a glade where there is a grape tree standing alone. Her brother starts to climb the tree while she admires the tree filled with the grapes. Climbing even higher and picking some grapes to eat, he bends the tree to try to let her have some. As she picks her own grapes, he tells her to hold the top of the tree. So she holds the tree as she was told. The tree, however, catches and suspends her, and it keeps her there for a minute with its grapes. She starts to cry like a baby and does not know what to do. But she clings to the tree, even though her brother is telling her to let go. Trying to bend the tree down, her brother tells her to wait until he leads her down. Finally, against his advice she falls off the tree and feels the ground with her feet. Since the incident happened, the life that she has been living is something different than what she expects or what people expect. She knows she does not want to give up her life in which she lives freely.


In the introductory paragraph, the woman says, "I was born, I suppose, like anyone, and grew to be a little boyish girl." At the beginning she is thinking that she is prepared and knows about things like anybody else. Comparing herself with her brother, she characterizes herself as a tomboy who is fond of adventure. However, on the day that she hangs on the tree, she realizes her lack of knowledge, in comparison to her brother, and she shows her fear of facing the reality of life. Frost uses character portrayal to illustrate the differences between their characters. Like Eurydice in Greek mythology, whose husband came back to save her, the little girl is saved by her brother from the tree where she is suspended. Frost captures the idea that she is no longer an adventurer, and that leads the reader to notice that she is facing reality.


Then Frost develops their characters making clear contrasts: the one who always knows about things and makes a decision following the knowledge and the one who is always led by the other, follows his knowledge, and gets confused in the process. Frost describes that the glade where the grape tree...

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