Aspects of darkness in the poetry of Robert Frost

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dc.contributor.advisor Koontz, Tom en_US Massey, Wayne Douglas, 1939- en_US 2011-06-03T19:28:37Z 2011-06-03T19:28:37Z 1974 en_US 1974
dc.identifier LD2489.Z64 1974 .M27 en_US
dc.description.abstract If Robert Frost's poetry is to be fully prized, it must be recognized as possessing more than a single level of interpretation. Frost has long been thought to be a nature poet. Recent criticism, however, especially in the wake of Lawrance Thompson's biography, has begun to focus upon another Frost, a poet who wrote about the unhappinesses and barriers of human life as well as about the. sylvan beauty of his native New England.First and foremost, Frost was a poet of the human condition. His intent was to focus his gaze upon life. Life is shown in Frost's poems to contain many aspects of darkness which often seem concatenated in a series of depressions of the human spirit. Life, too, is occasionally terrifying, filling men with fear and uncertainty. One thing after another seems to attack the very vitals of man's contentment, and at times the unceasing nature of the attack would suggest man's ultimate defeat. This dissertation deals with several of these dark elements in Frost's poetry against which all of mankind must wage a continuing battle.Chapter one presents a view of the poet himself. If the-reader takes a brief but incisive look into the actual life of Frost, viewing the hardships, disappointments, fears, and failings of the man Frost, then the poet Frost will better be understood as a person capable of versifying about darker elements of the human condition. As a child, Frost was taught that a person must direct his powers against socalled insuperable odds if he is to succeed in a particular goal. This first chapter exhibits the forces against which Frost battled.The second chapter begins a discussion of dark elements of the human condition. Frost views man as being all alone in a seemingly unfeeling and unresponsive universe. Death presents itself as an answer, but man continues his search for the answer. Truth is the goal, but it is elusive, and comes only as a brief flicker. The search for what is true is often begun out of a sense of loneliness and frustration. Frost frequently indicated a human need for retreat from life's oppressiveness, but never did he indicate escape. He thought of escape as an act of finality, an act which can never be undone. Frost's symbol of escape, the "dark woods," must never be entered. Man must cope with his existence. He must not submit to the call of the unknown forest. When coping with life's hardships proves ineffectual, man must learn the value of "acceptance."The darkness of human loneliness is frequently the harbinger of man's most intense griefs. When man finds himself companionless, or when true communication has been interrupted between himself and his fellow men--at such times introspection becomes most intense. Too much introspection leads to a sense of alienation from the world and a desire to escape the world's influence.Even nature itself terrifies. Frost portrays nature as sometimes brutal and unfeeling, bestial. Man must control his fears of the natural world by exercising courage. Though natural forces are hostile, they do not act out of a design of evil. Nature is equally capable of benefitting man, breaking his darkness with images of light and hope such as stars, moon, and sun. These images point to the reality of Truth, to the existence of a reason for living, for struggling against life's oppressiveness. Thus, Frost did not allow the dark to go unbroken in his poems. He wished truth to be seen and recognized as the only force capable of dispelling the shadow of human ignorance and human despair, enabling man to survive in a milieu of darkness.It is hoped that this dissertation will familiarize the reader with an important but all-too-often neglected side of Robert Frost's poetry that needs to be understood if Frost is to be fully appreciated. If such is the case, the poet's image will not be tarnished as a result; rather it will know a brighter luster than when viewed from but a single angle, in a lesser dimension. en_US
dc.format.extent iii, 118 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.other Frost, Robert, 1874-1963. en_US
dc.title Aspects of darkness in the poetry of Robert Frost en_US Thesis (D. Ed.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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