Self-improvement througth Frost Essay

This essay has a total of 2227 words and 12 pages.

Self-improvement througth Frost

"The unexamined life is not worth living"
"Know thyself"

The great philosopher Socrates stated these ideas and made it his duty to fulfill his own
reasoning. He knew that as human beings, we are a complex system of nature's product that
is still very enigmatic to our selves. Thus in order to fully comprehend one self as an
individual, one must look inward and seek the cause and function of one's own natural
condition. Many methods are effective in one's search, and this fact holds evident to our
own differences, some use social interaction as a form of investigation, while others may
find solitary confinement as a more productive approach. Through my own personal path to
clarity and understanding, it has proved invaluable to myself that the reading of
literature and poetry has a profound effect upon fulfillment. By associating oneself into
the thoughts and theories of the writer, one can gain an insight into their personal
condition. In particular, Robert Frost includes much thought and examples into his own
behavior as well as others. Through the analysis of Robert Frost's poetry, one attains an
insight into oneself, and a deeper perspective of the human condition. Poems such as "The
Death of a Hired Man", "The Road Not Taken", and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
all are incorporated with his thoughts of the natural human condition, and delve into his
own definitive bearing.

Poetry, he wrote, was "one step backward taken," resisting time-a "momentary stay against
confusion."(Baym 1116) The confusion that Frost recalls is the chaos that is included in
the search for oneself, and poetry to him was an elapse from the confusion. It

gave him comfort to read and write of his thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, and analyze
them in a humanistic nature that many could relate to and enjoy. In the 1930s when writers
tended to be political activists, he was scene as one whose old-fashioned values were
inappropriate, even dangerous, in modern times. Frost deeply resented this criticism, and
responded with a new hortatory, didactic kind of poetry. (Baym1116) This style of poetry
created an atmosphere that urged the reader to generate perception into the moral subject
and envision the meaning behind them. Frost shared with Thoreau and Emerson the belief
that everybody is a separate individuality and that collective enterprise could do nothing
but weaken the self. (Baym 1116) This theory that Frost shared with the famous
transcendentalists conveys that he was a firm believer that ones freedom of others is
essential the development for the further understanding of oneself. To many
transcendentalists the pure act of coexisting within nature as an entity, creates a sense
of closeness and spirituality within the human mind that is open to hear it.

Frost opens the eyes of many to the griefs of country life in "Death of a Hired Man",
where he explores the humanistic conditions of belongings, empathy, intolerance, and
dignity. Mary and Warren's farm was Silas' only place to call home, where he knew he would
always be accepted even if he weren't welcome. Home is the place where, when you have to
go there, they have to take you in. (Frost 1122) This was home for Silas, even if his rich
brother lived thirteen miles away, who was a "somebody", Silas wouldn't be made ashamed to
please hi brother. This powerful and sound dignity stressed by Frost, exemplifies his
stern belief to uphold ones own pride in oneself. Also Silas wanted to return with one
other wish than to ditch the meadow, he told Mary that he wants to teach Harold, to pass
on his one true talent. The human need of belongingness is

very evident within Silas as he hopes to pass on his skill and teach his wisdom to others,
to belong and to have something to belong in. He thinks that if he could teach him that,
he'd be some good perhaps to someone in the world. (Frost 1122) Silas wanted to have a
last hope for himself, to save his last self-respect. Silas is a character that Frost uses
very well to convey his personal ideals of the effect that belongingness has on deprived
humans.

Another character that Frost portrays to the reader as certain elements of humanistic
qualities is Mary. After so many years he still keeps finding good arguments he sees he
might have used. I sympathize. I know how it feels to think of something right to say too
late. (Frost 1120) Mary's empathetic morals are her strongest features. She feels very
sorry that Silas will end his life with nothing. Poor Silas, so concerned with other folk,
and nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope.
(Frost 1122) Frost uses light as a soft method to urge his view of her tenderness to Silas
and its importance to his well being.

"Part of the moon was falling down the west,
Dragging the whole sky with it to the hills.
Its light poured softly in her lap. She saw it
And spread her apron to it. She put out her hand
Among the harp like morning-glory strings,
Taut with the dew from garden bed to eves,
As if she played unheard some tenderness
That wrought on him beside her in the night". (Frost 1122)
Sympathy and tenderness are true virtues, and one may be blessed with the same if given
out to all. Mary is shown to the reader as a saint like personality, who is aware of
Silas' situation, and is willing to give her respect. Mary is Frost's prime illustration
of a being with great qualities and a tremendous feeling for the human condition. This
perfect model is more illuminate due to the final character, Warren.

Warren is a stern man whose own intolerance and blunt views, limit his capacity for others
pain and troubles. To Warren, Silas is a nobody, someone who has a poor conception of
responsibility and proper judgment. Yet, Warren is simply very different to that of Silas.
Independence and free will are the unequal components that the two diverse men share.
Silas felt the home that he once know was no that of his own, so he traveled as a light
wind and care free as a child.

Frost masters his own technique as he brings light upon the basic needs of humans, through
Silas, Mary, and Warren. The readers are put into the situation themselves, and the ideas
of belongingness, understanding, and intolerance are questioned and demand review to ones
own perception to the situation of needs. This method may aid the reader to increase his
or her own insight as a member to belong to, as a person of care to others, without cold
feelings of intolerance.

"The Road Not Taken" is a powerful poem that Frost tells of his decisions and the impact
that they have had on him as a man, as well as exploring the humanistic qualities of
making a decision and fate. The poem begins as a fork in the road, with regrets that both
cannot be chosen, he tells of how he looked down both as to foretell the coming, hoping to
see a difference. Yet his decision was simply based on the wear of the grass, that he
chose the untaken path. He indicates to the reader that the fate that one undergoes

is nothing of ones own decision, in fact very little control is ever placed in our hands.
It is the attitude that one takes, that shows the difference in us. Frost finally
confesses is true thoughts to the reader in the end of the poem.

"I shall be saying this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in the wood, and I-
Took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference." (Frost 1128)
Here we see Frost advising to the reader that since our choice really is very
insignificant, the only fulfillment one can undertake is finding the good in our choice,
and being content with our being. This is not an easy perspective to handle; yet the
gratification that comes with it is overwhelming. Such is a human quality that has been
with us ages since. The regret that one feels due to a poor decision is simply the lack of
seeking the good within. If one is to become truly content with them, the ability to look
within for the good is essential. Frost probes the necessary elements of happiness, which
is the most fundamental aspect of human desire. The feeling of happiness is often
misguided with material means and false representation. One may own great fortunes and
vast land, and still be without happiness and the content of fate. Frost sees the value of
such conditioning and understands the misconception; fate is an uncontrollable force that
is a part of all. The understanding of such a force is available to the open minded, and
unthinkable to the blunt and obtuse.

Frost examines the very basics of life in his simple poem " Stopping by Woods on a Snowy
Evening". The first natural condition that he explores is that of free will and


independence. We are taken away to a place of virgin beauty in the woods of a friend.
"Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
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