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Research Papers that Analyze Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Nearly every English 101 course asks that students analyze Robert Frost's poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening in a research paper. Paper Masters suggests you write your literature or poetry research paper on the following topic:

  • Death Imagery in Frost's poem
  • What does the wilderness represent to Frost?
  • The structure of the stanza's of Frost's Snowy Evening

One of the most popular and enduring poems of the 20th century is Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Consisting of four stanza of iambic verse, lines one, two and four all rhyme, while the third line sets up the rhyme for the next stanza. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening AnalysisIn Frost’s hands, the seemingly simple message and rhyme scheme hide a deep, rich under layer to the poem.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

“Whose woods these are I think I know.” Robert Frost claimed to have written the poem in a single sitting over the course of an evening. On the surface, it depicts the speaker stopping to marvel at some woods while on his way home. In the silence of the evening, he wishes to linger, but must depart, pulled by obligations. However, the repetition in the final two lines, “And miles to go before I sleep” hints at Frost’s preoccupation with death imagery in many of his other works.

It is in the final stanza that one sees the conflict between the attraction of the woods and the pull of obligation. This is not a dark, primeval forest, for the owner is known to the speaker, and lives in the nearby village. Yet still they have the “lovely, dark, and deep” appeal, as the evening snow fills them. The speaker’s horse does not understand the delay, stopped between wilderness and society. In the end, it is the pull of civilization, of obligation, that spurs the speaker to give up the fantasy of returning to some wild existence.

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