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Robert Frost’s Fire And Ice Essay

908 words - 4 pages

Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice is a popular poem written in 1923 by Robert Frost. It is
a very well known poem and is used in many high schools and colleges
today. Many students along with various critics read this poem as
Frost’s idea as to how the world is going to end. People also take
this in a Biblical sense, because the passage that God states the next
time he destroys the world, it will be in fire. He blatantly states in
the first lines, “Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in
ice”, which leads many critics to believe the simplicity of this poem
was to be taken as simple and to the point. However, the poem was
written in the roaring twenties, which is why I believe Frost had a
deeper meaning attached than how the world was going to end. Opposing
most critics with their view of this idea, I believe Robert Frost’s
“Fire and Ice” is about love. Fire being the love itself along with
passion, ice is the lack of love, rather than a view on the end of the

Katherine Kearns states that although you have to make a decision
between the language, it still seems as if Frost is trying to allude
to the end of the world (Cambridge University). Frost often writes in
a very simply form, which is why critics are constantly led to believe
Frost had no double meaning out of the poem. The form of ‘Fire and
Ice’ is again, simple in the writing, leaving it easy to see the
surface meaning and not look any deeper. The form and simple rhyme
scheme do not give readers the idea that the meaning would be so

Through a deeper reading of the poem, I think Frost is trying to
discover the distinction between love and hate through symbolism. Fire
is love or burning desire. The ice symbolizes hatred, or a cold heart.
When Frost says, “From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those
who favor fire”, I think he is stating that he has felt the kind of
love, known as fire, and is more likely to burn from the desire rather
than freeze from a frozen heart. The hatred like ice is always the
same. Constantly cold and hard like a bad winter. However, the love,
or fire, is continuously burning and the passion and desire only get
bigger. Love is consuming while hate is cold and stops everything.

The metaphor of fire and ice is very powerful. It is easy to take this
poem in the simplest form, because of the reality of the idea of the
world being destroyed in fire or ice. When taken as a metaphor, the
simple words suddenly mean something very profound. Yvette Sangiorgio
states, “Both of these extremes destroy the soul of humanity and the
individual, and the metaphors of fire and ice fit” (Sangiorgio par.
3). Through this she is now comparing the world to the...

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