Symbolism in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
Many people consider Robert Frost to be one of America's greatest poets, and one of his best known poems is "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". In the poem, Frost describes a person stopping just outside of town in a wooded area with his horse. He stops for a moment to appreciate the wonder of the world that he has spent so much time in, something that he may not have done much in his younger years. The horse could be a symbol of the pressures of the rest of the "civilized" world. The horse nudges the speaker on as if "to ask if there is some mistake," just as society might nudge someone into movement and not understand the necessity of "stopping to smell the roses." The last three lines of the poem could be the realization that, although the speaker might like to stay in the woods much longer, there are responsibilities that must be attended to and many things that must be completed before the final rest, death, takes him. The poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is, therefore, an allegory of life showing the need to enjoy life, the pressures that often keep us from enjoying life, and the unfortunate fact, that most people do not realize what is gone before it is too late.
In the hustle and bustle of today's society, it is often difficult to appreciate the world around us. Many times, due to the pace of our lives, the purity and beauty of nature is often lost in the shuffle. Frost, through his poem may be pointing out that there is more than just the "nine to five." The wonder of life, the falling of the leaves, the smell of a flower, the touch of a friend; all of these things are what makes life worth living. These are the "little things" that people mention when reminiscing of the past. The speaker of the poem stands in the cold and admires the beauty that surrounds him, a beauty that he passed without notice on untold number of occasions, and although he would like to stay, the pressures that have caused his inattention in the past are soon to encroach again.
Frost, in line 7, may be using the symbolism of the horse nudging the speaker as if "to ask if there is some mistake" to show the pressures that are placed on us through our daily lives: society, family, and fiscal solvency. In other words,...