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Frosty Dreams - How Obscurity Unfolds Its Attraction in “stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Frosty Dreams

How Obscurity Unfolds Its Attraction In “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Some readers fail to see the main sense of a poem, particularly when the wordings are modest and the mere interest of the ode lies in the rhymes. In Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” the uniformly set up stanzas describe with simplicity a scene which attract to dream along with the narrator, revealing his passion for the cold darkness. Frost is creating an unusual atmosphere of frozen and dark woods, where we conventionally associate un-pleasantness and nightmares, he chooses it to be a safe and comfort zone, re-vealing its new side of a nourishing value. The narrator, not perturbed by this uninviting atmosphere, rests as long as he can to get lost in his reverie, benefit-ing from the obscurity.

There is a certain irresistibility, “lovely, dark”, (13) which leads the narra-tor to linger on a site which belongs to an unknown person. Clearly these two contrasting adjectives do not go hand in hand together as a harmonious descrip-tion, but Frost brings these attributes together self-evidently. The narrator sees it as one of the reasons to stop by and also knows “whose woods these are” (1), telling us he has been there before and identifies the woods to be “His” (2). The first stanza indicates a mysterious portrait of their relationship, thus the woods lying in between the owner and him is their bond with past experiences that is now to be left forgotten: “to watch his woods fill up with snow” (4). Mysterious, because sole he is there to observe how their memories are yielding for new ones. The owner on the other hand is absent, “in the village” (2), and ought not to know of this event and will not be informed, “He will not see me stopping here” (3). This also suggests trespassing of property and that this intrusion will undoubtedly not be spotted.

Inevitably, the narrator’s memories are putting him in a situation that he himself is powerless to handle his further acts, as to when he says “My little horse must think it queer / stop without a farmhouse near” (5-6) gives us the hint of breach of routine, where lingering at this vicinity has an inviting character and the temptation is too great to keep on moving. Although we are concealed of the content of this souvenir, it surely is of a significant subject which brings up pleasant thoughts and memories to the traveller, for “of easy, downy” (12) implies smoothness, coziness and shelter. He is drawn so deeply into snugly daydreaming, all frozen up, that he his horse has to shake its bells (9), in order to bring him back on his feet.

The interesting fact that the horse “think[s]” (5) and “ask[s]” if there is some mistake” (10), gives it a dynamic, a drive which leads the narrator to emerge from his dreams. The horse embodies

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