Values of Nature In Frost's "After Apple Picking"

Essay by alla24 February 2006

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Robert Frost once said "There are many other things I have found myself saying about poetry, but the chiefest of these is that it is a metaphor, saying one thing and meaning another, saying one thing in terms of another, the pleasure of ulteriority" (The Atlantic Monthly, 1946). In "After Apple Picking", Robert Frost does as he said, he uses a simple story about a man, who, after a hard day of picking apples, is tired and wishes to rest, to imply a larger idea - that our actions express our values. Combining familiar objects like nature, and everyday work in the poem makes it easy to read, but not necessarily easy to understand. Actually, Robert Frost hides a lesson about life that he wants to pass on to , the readers. The speaker's actions are apple picking, he values nature. However, the speaker starts to doubts this value of his, and it is shown in the poem by an association of the apple with The Garden of Eden, his treatment of nature, dream, and the sleep of the woodchuck.

"After Apple Picking", slides from a simple story about apple picking to a story about life experiences and a person who doubts his values.

The speaker's encounter with apples makes him question his values. Apples usually evoke association with the Garden of Eden and the Fall. Adam, after picking and eating an apple, was expelled from the Garden of Eden, from a heavenly place where he lived as one with nature, to a world where one must labor. The apple may have given Adam knowledge, but he had to leave The Garden of Eden. The world of labor is the place where the speaker lives, but unlike Adam who gained knowledge from the apple about life, the...