Robert Frosts After Picking Apples Essay

This essay has a total of 1046 words and 5 pages.

Robert Frosts After Picking Apples




“After Apple-Picking”
Robert Frost’s poem, “After Apple-Picking” is a depiction of an individual’s realization
that death is looming near. And due to this self-discovery, the individual looks back
upon his/her life with disappointment and regret. The speaker is overwhelmed with life
and uncertain about life itself. The theme of this poem deals with the speaker’s feelings
of disappointment and regret at the close of his/her life. Frost develops and reinforces
the theme through by implementing symbols, images, rhythm, tone, and diction.

The speaker uses the symbol of the apple to allude to the biblical story of creation that
helps contribute to the interpretation of the poem. In Genesis, Eve picks the apple from
the tree marking the beginning of life or better, as the beginning of new experiences and
knowledge. The apple in this poem is a symbol of new experiences and knowledge. Frost
develops his theme by narrating in the poem: “There’s a barrel that I didn’t fill/ Beside
it, there may be two or three/ Apples that I didn’t pick upon some bough.” The apples
that were not picked represent experiences and knowledge never gained and deeds that were
never accomplished. Barrels represent the desire to accomplish tasks but the fact that
the barrels were empty, expresses the speaker’s regret for unfinished tasks at the end of
a lifetime.


Fong 2
A series of images are provided by the speaker to show that he/she feels that death is
looming near and that is looking back upon life with regret. The first image provided in
the very first line in the poem depicting a two-pointed ladder pointing through a tree
toward heaven still. This is the first image shown to convey the speaker’s concern that
death is looming near. Later in the poem, there is an image of the ladder swaying as the
boughs bend. This shows that the speaker thinks that the ladder might break bringing the
speaker even closer to death. Another image is given in these several lines:

There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch.
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth.
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble.
The image of the speaker “ten thousand thousand” apples falling produces the feeling that
the speaker is overwhelmed with life. Also, provided the image that the apples struck the
earth and became either bruised or spiked with stubble portrays the speaker’s life
attempts and mistakes made, thus once again, producing a sense of regret in the speaker’s
life.

Continues for 3 more pages >>




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