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Dickinson's I Could Not Stop for Death and Frost's The Road not Taken - Essay Example

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The paper contrasts Dickinson's I Could Not Stop for Death and Frost's The Road not Taken. Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost are two of the most influential writers in American literature. They have been counted as such because of their mastery of words and in observing life, in general. …
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Dickinsons I Could Not Stop for Death and Frosts The Road not Taken
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Download file to see previous pages Both poems, I Could Not Stop for Death and The Road Not Taken, are touted as modern gems in literature. Both tackle life in different styles, but still, the poems communicate what everyone is curious about: what to do in times of trouble. For Dickinson, it is death. It attempts to answer the question, What is in store after death? or maybe What happens when one is dying? For Frost, the poem attempts to answer the question, What is the right thing to do? In life, as a living person, we all answer these questions. However, we ask them in various ways. These two poets asked them through poems. They are quite similar in form and in their style. They used iambic pentameter and they used foreshadowing in a manner that would echo the “flashback” effects in movies. As for theme, they are both dark, as Dickinson tackled death and Frost tackled uncertainty. Both of the poems also employ easy words and the reader will not at all feel intimidated when reading the poems. First, the structure of the poems. Dickinson’s poem has five stanzas with four lines each. Frost’s poem has four stanzas with five lines each. Both are written in iambic meters. Both have regular patterns, especially in rhyme. It is more obvious in Frost’s case, as in the words all rhyme in the end, every other line. Dickinson sometimes ditches the rhyming but then the rhythm of the poem is there. The meters also tell the reader of the competence of both the poets. They are there but they are quite subtle. In Dickinson’s case, the stress per syllable is quite obvious when one speaks the poem loudly enough. The stress occurs on every other syllable in a word. Frost’s poem also employs the same technique. The style that they wrote the poems is also similar. Both employ the “surprise” factor. They use that technique at the end of the poem. In Dickinson’s poem, with the line: Since then 'tis centuries; but each Feels shorter than the day It tells the reader that she is already dead. This occurs in the last stanza, when the poem finishes off. It is a surprise since the reader, all throughout the previous lines, will think of the bucolic and idyllic images that the poem paints. To put it into context, the poem personifies about Death like he a gentleman and fetches the narrator for something like a date. This is then followed by images of: We passed the fields of gazing grain, We passed the setting sun. It is idyllic and peaceful. This tells the readers what kind of attitude the poet has about Death. This surprise factor is also used in Frost’s poem. In the first parts of the poem, we read that the narrator is faced with a conundrum: to choose this path or that path. He does not know the answer but he takes a path anyway, and moves on. Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, The reader, at this point, would be led to believe that the persona will be all right with the decision he made. However, with the last line, especially the word sigh, let’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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