Design

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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In many of his poems Frost makes references to nature. Rural settings which are predominant in the poetry of Frost are used to show a whimsical side. Although nature is common in his poetry, the view changes from poem to poem; as Nitchie states, "...that changeableness may partially account for the absence of a clear prescription to follow nature." An example of this is seen in "Stopping by Woods..." seen as a reflection on nature: in which the persona is experiencing the breathtaking beauty of the snow, quiet and woods around him. Frost's poem "Design" demonstrates man's relationship with the natural world.

Frost often uses COLORful images and languages to convey his feelings; In both "Stopping by Woods..." and "Design" Frost depicts an unsettling "darkness" which lies both under and throughout nature. In "Stopping by Woods..." the persona feels he is secure in the woods, he is comfortable and safe.

He reflects outside himself and his selfish preoccupation of the realities of being human and is taken to the plain fact of the beauty of nature, of white snow and "easy wind." However, the woods represent peril: they are "dark" and "deep" and also confuse the horse. In "Design" images of darkness also appear - "Assorted characters of death and blight..." - the spider, moth and heal-all are visions of destruction and death; they are a reminder of the food chain: the flower attracts the moth, and the moth attracts the spider, which in turn eats the moth. In "Design" Frost makes death seem attractive; The moth cannot help but be attracted to the white flower and the spider can't help but eat it.

The underlying message of "Design" is how the universe came to be; Whomever or whatever the "designer" is, it's a force that is much larger than the moth, spider, heal-all, and us for that matter. However the message Frost wants to make known in "Stopping by Woods.." is that the appearance of nature is beautiful but in reality it is very dangerous. A quote from Gale's Literary Criticism fit to describe both poems is, "It's so; and there's nothing you can do about it" (110).