Robert Frost’s, “Design” Essay

1056 words - 4 pages

Robert Frost’s “Design” is a poem of finding natural cruelty in the serenity of nature, a melody of understanding. Upon reading the first line, not unlike the whole poem, a joke in tone, rhythm is building up an image that grows into something else. In “Design”, the joking discovery progresses gradually through a sequence of conflicting images. . Frost uses imagery, allegory, and characterization to accomplish what could only be described as an American emblem poem. This essay will analyze Frost’s “Design”, interpreting the underlying message and overall theme Frost may have been trying to convey.
To begin with, the title refers to the idea, as William James writes in Pragmatism, "God's existence has from time immemorial been held to be proved by certain natural facts.... Such mutual fitting of things diverse in origin argued design, it was held; and the designer was always treated as a man-loving deity” (James, ne).
At first, the cheerfully perceptive stroller on backcountry roads: “I found a dimpled…” (593) the iambic lilt supplements a tone of pleasurable astonishment. With the introduction of “spider”, he betrays himself, and in “fat” and “white”, the dimpled insect appears less amiable. Additionally, in the next line, “On a white heal-all…” the verse is suggestive of innocence and fortification (Frost, 593). The white heal-all, which for the most part is a light blue flower, is how Frost suggests the purity of the situation.
Subsequently, the spider, “holding up a moth” draws out the evil or cruelty, which is nature. Frost accents this in the subsequent verse, “Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth” (Frost, 593). His play on words here is prodigious, “a white piece of satin cloth” (Frost, 593) this stanza demonstrates serenity, and beauty. Correspondingly, satin, is a pure, smooth cloth, contrasted against the color white to highlight its purity, makes this verse seem pure. Consequently, the word “rigid” that Frost adds to the verse changes the symbolism of the moth. Rigid, symbolizing a possible rigor mortis, overtly frozen in time the moths tranquility changes to an evil representation of the spiders nature. In the next three lines, Frost gives away his joke, but he does it facetiously, again through a sequence of conflicting images and play on words.
Correspondingly, in the next four lines the iambic quality must be analyzed in prodigious detail. Firstly, “Assorted characters of death and blight” (Frost, 593) Frost’s avowable takes on a singsong quality in this statement. He increases this effect with the next couplet, “Mixed and ready” (593) this changes the tone from vexed to more carefree, but the word “right” hangs on the witticism of “rite”, as the poet mixes his “witches broth”. Some analysts write, witches broth is suggestive of the “Weird Sisters, Shakespeare’s most evil images of evil” (na, el). Frosts adding of tranquil syllables increases and allays the following stanza to assuage the viciousness being communicated: “A...

Find Another Essay On Robert Frost’s, “Design”

Authors Playing With Our Emotions Essay

2091 words - 8 pages Authors Playing With Our Emotions in Robert Frost’s “The Fear”, Chuck Palahniuk’s “Speaking Bitterness”, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, and Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” Some authors are very clever in the way they toy with our emotions. It is not uncommon to find yourself giggling at a story while simultaneously realizing you probably should not be laughing at something that is actually quite gruesome. These

A Beautiful Pied Design Essay

1440 words - 6 pages , sometimes poems of two genres can mash together. Meaning a poem could be tragic but also epic such as a poem written about a magical dragon who's mother dies. And two poems may be more alike or different than first thought. A great example of this happening is within the poems Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins and Design by Robert Frost. The easiest likeness to notice is that both of these poems have the tendency to rhyme. However, they both

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

How Celtic Folkore has Influenced My Family

1587 words - 6 pages Every family has a unique background that influences the way they live and interact with other people. My parents, who emigrated from Ireland to the States with my three brothers in 1989, brought over their own Celtic folklore and traditions that have helped shaped the way our family operates and lives. One aspect of folklore that has helped shape my family dynamic is the Celtic cross—both its background and what role it has played in our lives

Julia Margaret Cameron

1406 words - 6 pages At a time when women were looked upon as being homemakers, wives, mothers and such the late 1850's presented a change in pace for one woman in specific. Photography was discovered in 1826 and soon after the phenomenon of photography was being experimented with and in turn brought new and different ways of photo taking not only as documenting real time, but also conceptualizing a scene in which an image would be taken. Julia Margaret Cameron will

Evaluation of School Improvement

1403 words - 6 pages The evaluation process should be progressive to incorporate overall planning, implement changes, which contribute to success. In order to focus on school climate and norms, the evaluation design must include the students, instructions, and outcomes to improve communication and building-level concerns to be address in this response. School Climate and Social Norms The school principal, other staff leaders, and personnel set the tone and the

Case Study: The Benefits of Animal Testing

1757 words - 7 pages Nine year old Amy has already had a rough start in life. She was born with an abnormal heart that hinders her everyday activities. Amy is unable to keep up with kids her own age because she often tires out easily. As a consequence, she has very little friends and is often alone. Amy is forced to take different medications everyday just to survive. Amy’s life consists of medicine, doctors, and constant hospital visits. However, Amy is due for a

Similar Essays

By Design Essay

1298 words - 5 pages Redesigned: One poem with two faces Robert Frost wrote a poem – twice. The early version of the poem titled, “In White,” creates a simple scene filled with anomalies. For some reason, years later, the work beckoned for further attention. The poet complied and skillfully enhanced the work, rendering a finished poem that exceeded the scope of the original. Side by side, both versions of Frost’s poem send a nuanced message to the thoughtful

The Design Of Imperfection Essay

788 words - 4 pages The universe itself is a combination of different patterns of designs sewn together by an invisible thread. Though the existence of a higher God may be debatable, the true design of life, with all of its perfections and mutations, still remains a mystery to this day. Robert Frost, in his poem “In White” and its rewrite, “Design,” challenges the idea of whether or not God designs the imperfections of life. It is arguable to decide which poem is

Good And Evil In Robert Frost's Poetry

534 words - 2 pages simple to the thoroughly convoluted. But Robert Frost’s theory, published in the early 1900s, remains one of the most compelling. In his poem Design, Frost illustrates the contrast between evil the good in nature, and offers his own commentary as to who is truly in control. In the first stanza, the speaker portrays contrasting forces of good and evil within nature to argue that the spider is in control. In the first line, “I found a dimpled

Reminiscence Of “Birches” Essay

1046 words - 5 pages Reminiscence of “Birches” Robert Frost’s “Birches” is a poem that makes incites towards the shortness of one’s life. In the poem, Frost reminisces on his childhood, and remembers it all too well. The poem is meant to help the reader to reflect on his/her own life and leave them wanting to treasure moments of the present more intensely. The poem encourages its readers to think about what great things lay ahead, while looking at the positive