Critique of Robert Frost Essay

This essay has a total of 937 words and 4 pages.

Critique of Robert Frost

Marion Montgomery, "Robert Frost and His Use of Barriers: Man vs. Nature Toward God,"
Englewood Cliffs, NJ; Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1962. Reprinted by permission of The South
Atlantic Quarterly.



Robert Frost is considered by the casual reader to be a poet of nature like that of a
Wordsworth. In a sense, his poetry is about nature, yet with strong underlying tones of
the drama of man in nature. Frost himself stated, "I guess I'm not a nature poet," " I
have only written two without a human being in them (138)." Marion Montgomery's critical
essay plays with the epitaph that Frost proposes for himself in The Lesson for Today: "I
have a lovers quarrel with the world." Montgomery says, that the lovers quarrel is Frost's
poetic subject, and states, "throughout his poetry there is evidence of this view of mans'
existence in the natural world (138). The essay examines how Frost's attitude toward
nature is one with armed and amicable truce and mutual respect interwoven with boundaries
of the two principles, individual man and the forces of the world. But the boundaries are
insisted upon. The critical essay examines how Frost's direct addresses of nature are
often how man is essentially different from objects and features of nature. Montgomery
insists, "…his trees and animals, though he speaks to them, do no take on grave
countenances (140)." The jest of Montgomery's ideal is when Frost speaks directly to or
directly of natural objects or creatures, "that he is really looking at man out of the
corner of his eye and speaking to him from the corner of his mouth (141)." The critical
essay continues toward how the supernatural or God is man's slow understanding of the
natural world. Many of the works Frost has written show "his acceptance of man's
limitations and the acceptance of mystery in existence than to agnosticism (142)." The
essay is stating that Frost is reserving judgment, keeping silent on his opinions of God
and the supernatural. The essay states his thoughts to be, " experience comes early,
understanding later (142)." Frost has been critically ridiculed for his cynicism in his
poetry of God toward man. "To Frost, the mindless world, despite its laws and patterns of
cause and effect, lacks completeness, … but man was created so that he may try to make
the world complete (143)." Montgomery insists that Frost is devoted to God in his poetry,
he implies that God gave us minds and that we should use our minds for the enhancement of
the creator's world.

The critical essay by Marion Montgomery explains how Frost connects man to nature and God.
Barriers exist between man and nature, and man and God. By interweaving the elements in
his poetry, Frost enhances the underlying tones of his work. He invites the readers to
find themselves through his poetry, not just in extraordinary circumstances but also in
the struggle of everyday life. Nature and God play a backseat role through his poetry. He
tends to use nature to symbolize something that has to do with human life or situations
that humans face. In the poem "The Road Not Taken" man finds himself interacting with
nature and with an underlying tone of God. He introduces two separate paths, in which the
speaker is faced with a decision of which path to choose. Only one path can be chosen,
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