Roert Frost; Design

Essay by BabyBoo1987High School, 12th gradeA+, January 2005

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In the poem "Design" written by Robert Frost, the classic use of the color white, generally referring to innocence and purity, is representatively contradicted. Instead of giving this color to wholesome, pure objects, he gives them to objects that typically represent death and darkness. The first line talks about a fat white spider. This line contradicts the reputation that spiders have. When a spider is seen, fat or skinny, it is usually black. I hate spiders and I would not label them as innocent or pure because spiders usually live in dirty environments. By giving the spider a white color seems to disguise it. The white color of the spider is a mask that makes people think it is innocent and pure when it is really not. Traditionally spiders have been associated with dirty and devilish acts. By portraying the spider as white it comes into a whole new perspective, and you begin to think that maybe the spider isn't so bad after all.

In the second part of the first stanza, Frost describes a witch's brew with all the ingredients being white. Witches have traditionally been ugly and evil people wearing all black, the color that represents darkness and death. By saying that the white spider and the dead moth are like ingredients of a witches brew is actually putting those two objects on a lower level of existence. Ingredients in witch's brew are usually despicable items that are not worthy of any human being. Frost talks about the spider on a white heal-all holding up a dead white moth. A heal-all is a flower traditionally known for its healing capabilities, but in this poem it is acting as a boxing ring for the spider and the moth. The moth saw a white spider and figured he was...