Robert Frost and Thomas Hardy 1 Essay

Submitted By gwells2414
Words: 829
Pages: 4

Thomas Hardy, in “The Darkling Thrush,” and Robert Frost, in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” both offer the eerie beauty and the painfully depressing loneliness of the winter season and also give a piercing glance into how these aspects of winter resonates with his psyche. Hardy’s use of similes (e.g. “the tangled bind-stems scored the sky like strings of broken lyres,”) and personifications (e.g. “the lands sharp features seemed to be the century’s corpse out leant,”) shows his pervasive and underlying depressed feelings about the turn of the century. In contrast, Frost’s use of alliteration in the first line “whose woods these are I think I know,” lends a playful overtone. His use of descriptive words such as “queer,” “lovely, dark, and deep,” describes the beauty in winter despite its foreboding and terrifying nature. Thomas Hardy in “The Darkling Thrush,” portrays his view of the wintery landscape in the evening as the century comes to an end. For example, he writes that he is exposed to “the weakening eye of day,” in the fourth line of the first stanza suggesting that the day was coming to an end. His use of alliteration in the second stanza “his crypt the cloudy canopy,” also lends a dark, almost foreboding sense of despair within him as the end of the century approaches. Hardy appears to be very depressed by the end of the day and the close of the century. He uses dark descriptive words such as “coppice gate,” “specter-gray,” and “scored the sky,” giving the impression that he feels damned to roam this landscape as if there were no silver lining in sight. For example, he uses vivid imagery of dark and depressing sights and sound in the following: “The land’s sharp features seemed to be The century’s corpse out leant, His crypt the cloudy canopy, The wind his death- lament.”

Hardy’s entire perspective initially suggest that he may have been struggling with depression. For example, he writes “An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, in blast- be ruffled plume,” the use of these descriptive words is thematic of depression. However, as he observes this mangy bird something extraordinary happens. The bird belts out an “ecstatic sound “ which contrasts with the themes of impending doom and seem to indicate Hardy did have hope for the future. This is clear within the last lines of the poem: “That I could think there trembled through His happy good- night air Some blessed hope, whereof he knew And I was unaware.” Robert Frost in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” is conservative in his use of alliteration. He only utilizes this literary device in the first line of the poem when stating “whose woods these are I think I know”, which gave it a melodious overtone (i.e. the constant use of A, A, B, A rhyming): “My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.”

Frost describes winter using both visual and aural imagery to appeal to the readers senses. For example, he uses visual imager in writing “he will not see me stopping here, to