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Compare and Contrast Fire and Ice by Robert Frost and A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'connor - Research Paper Example

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Compare and Contrast “Fire and ice” by Robert Frost and “A good man is hard to find” by Flannery O’ Connor Introduction First published in 1920, Robert Frost’s “Fire and ice” raises the issue of the end of the world. The poem compares fire with ice but also introduces the concept of desire and hatred…
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Compare and Contrast Fire and Ice by Robert Frost and A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery Oconnor
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Download file to see previous pages Indeed, where “A good man is hard to find” examines a family “Fire and ice” describes the end of the whole universe. End of lives The main similarity between “Fire and ice” and “A good man is hard to find” consists in the fact that both texts describe a gloomy situation about the end of lives. In “Fire and ice” Frost reflects about the end of the world and the way it may happen. He portrays the end as a form of punishment either through fire or ice that does not give any hope to human beings. This image resembles the description of hell in Dante’s “Inferno.” This statement reveals: “But it is at the thematic level that Frost most tellingly follows Dante, for the poem reflects the same system of ethics that Dante employs to classify the sins and punishments of hell” (Serio, 1999). Like Dante, Frost envisions a punishment for the sins humans have committed through fire or ice which in either way represents a severe punishment. In the same way “A good man is hard to find” depicts the tragic death of Bailey and his family who have the misfortune to meet the Misfit. The latter, a prisoner who escapes from jail, deems it necessary to kill them in order to pursue his way safely. Even though, Bailey and his family didn’t do anything wrong to the Misfit, their random encounter put their lives in danger since the escapee regards them as a threat to his own freedom. Therefore, he just puts an end to their lives to secure his own liberty. However, Alex Link (2007) refuses to be radical about the Misfit who “can be reduced neither to a sentimental ‘good man’ nor to an obscene killer.” The proportion of the destruction The poem and the short story do not present the same end of lives. In the poem, Frost refers to the end of the world as predicted in the Bible. However, he raises a philosophical question concerning the means to that end. The speaker says: “Some say the world will end in fire, / Some say in ice” (Frost, 1920). Frost does not question the end of the world, but he engages in a reflection about how it will happen. He seems to be certain that there will be a punishment either through fire or ice. Frost assimilates desire to emotion which leads people to be sinners. “However, as figurative representations of desire and hatred, fire and ice embody the very system of Aristotelian ethics Dante employs in arranging the Inferno: Sins of reason are worse than sins of passion. Frost associates fire with the senses and places it first or, so to speak, near the top of his poem as the lesser of the two types of sin” (Serio, 1999). Frost’s choice of fire over ice indicates the heat associated with passion. On the other hand, the short story introduces a totally different end. The death of Bailey and his family seems to be a random event associated with fate. Apparently, the Misfit did not kill Bailey and his family for any sin they have committed against him or God. He just sees them as an obstruction to his freedom. According to Link (2007): “The Misfit, as his name implies, is in his proper place only when he is in any of abstract space's places set aside for the containment of excess.” In fact, his name reflects his displacement which explains the “excess” he indulges in. His flee from prison puts him in a situation in which he only cares for his safety regardless of how many people may die. The Conditions of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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