"Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost.

Essay by LilMiSsGigGleSHigh School, 10th gradeA, July 2003

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Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. In that statement, Robert Frost believes that the world will end in one of these two fates. Literally, fire could possibly end the world, for fire destroys. On the contrary, ice could end human existence as we know it; another ice age. That itself is already a thought that has puzzled many philosophers and scientists throughout time. However, looking at this poem symbolically it describes the similarities between fire and desire, as well as ice and hate. Fire is always changing, wanting and seeking out more [to burn], as does desire, yet ice is cold and hard, always staying the same, as is hate. Then again, Robert Frost adds another element to his theorum. Without doubt, he believes that humans will end this world. He has told us that the two most destructive forces known today are desire and hate.

Being as powerful and as selfish as we are, what we desire we get. What we want, we kill for, and what we hate we destroy.

In Frosts opinion, desire will play a higher role in this destruction, but if not desire, then ice ... hate, will also do the job, and would suffice.

I believe the purpose of the poem is to show the reader Frost's view on the obliteration of the earth. Frost seems sure about the world ending. He gives the impression that regardless of how the world comes to an end, it will happen as if prophesizing it himself.

The poet has aroused conflicting emotions such as hate and desire. The last line of Frost's poem asserts that the two destructive forces are equally great. Fire, or passion, consumes and destroys quickly, leaving ashes in its wake. Ice, or hatred, destroys more slowly.