Unstamped Letter

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  • An Unstamped Letter in Our Rural Letterbox
    • Narrative Perspective/ voice
      • first-person narrator
        • accentuate the epiphanous moment of a “tramp” 
      • narrator’s interior monologue defines himself as a “tramp astrologer”
        • highlights society’s obsession with class and social status BUT ALSO signifies the importance of understanding and appreciating nature as an omniscient power
      • juxtaposition of “tramp”, which implies an impoverished, lowly position in society, with “astrologer”, which has connotations of an intelligent, important being with the ability to find meaning and signs about our journey in life, accentuates Frost’s criticism of prejudice    
        • binary opposition underscores Frost’s belief of the necessity to stop judging others by possessions, but rather their ability to appreciate minimalistic details.
    • Themes
      • social status
      • abuse of wealth/power
      • death/ fate / destiny
      • importance/ significance of nature
        • Frost’s significant focus on the narrator’s progression from a position of homeless, worthlessness to one of self-value despite the social spheres defining the world in which he lives, allows him to create a meaningful poem, emphatic of the importance of nature and appreciating minute details in life    
          • Characterisation
            • we see the narrator progressing from “just a tramp” to a pauper, as he exclaims “Myself, in forma pauperis    
            • Initially the narrator appears to be feel worthless and victimised, through his paralleled position of a homeless man, but then is portrayed to have gained a sense of self-worth as he addresses himself in the form of a pauper and seems to realise he is of some value and does have a place in society.    
              • apparent preoccupation with social status also links to the wider narrative, as in a world where prejudice is rife, it is given that a homeless person may feel outcast from society
                • Frost focusses on the narrator’s ability to appreciate natural events, thus criticising societal predispositions and emphasising the importance of natural beauty
                  • Themes
                    • social status
                    • abuse of wealth/power
                    • death/ fate / destiny
                    • importance/ significance of nature
                      • Frost’s significant focus on the narrator’s progression from a position of homeless, worthlessness to one of self-value despite the social spheres defining the world in which he lives, allows him to create a meaningful poem, emphatic of the importance of nature and appreciating minute details in life    
                        • Characterisation
                          • we see the narrator progressing from “just a tramp” to a pauper, as he exclaims “Myself, in forma pauperis    
                          • Initially the narrator appears to be feel worthless and victimised, through his paralleled position of a homeless man, but then is portrayed to have gained a sense of self-worth as he addresses himself in the form of a pauper and seems to realise he is of some value and does have a place in society.    
                            • apparent preoccupation with social status also links to the wider narrative, as in a world where prejudice is rife, it is given that a homeless person may feel outcast from society
                              • Frost focusses on the narrator’s ability to appreciate natural events, thus criticising societal predispositions and emphasising the importance of natural beauty
      • Symbols/ motifs
      • Settings/ places
      • Plot, journey, destination
        • Moments of crisis/key events
          • climax
            • narrator's moment of revelation - occurs when two stars "coalesced"
              • impactful coalition of two natural creations implies a sense of extreme beauty and leaves the narrator in awe as he perceives the “largest firedrop ever formed”    
                • hyperbolic language here evokes the thought of warmth and comfort
                  • Narrative Perspective/ voice
                    • first-person narrator
                      • accentuate the epiphanous moment of a “tramp” 
                    • narrator’s interior monologue defines himself as a “tramp astrologer”
                      • highlights society’s obsession with class and social status BUT ALSO signifies the importance of understanding and appreciating nature as an omniscient power
                    • juxtaposition of “tramp”, which implies an impoverished, lowly position in society, with “astrologer”, which has connotations of an intelligent, important being with the ability to find meaning and signs about our journey in life, accentuates Frost’s criticism of prejudice    
                      • binary opposition underscores Frost’s belief of the necessity to stop judging others by possessions, but rather their ability to appreciate minimalistic details.
                  • implies the narrator is in a position of mental comfort and security, which opposes the previous idea presented that the narrator is surrounded by dark, hostile settings, with no secure shelter
                    • The narrator emphasises their comfort in these somewhat tranquil settings, which portrays Frost’s wish for humans to appreciate the smaller details in life    
                      • regular ABAB rhyme scheme further reinforces this sense of contentment as it creates an impression of rhythmic fluidity and naturalness, therefore also reminiscent of the “rural” setting depicted in the title    
        • Openings/beginnings
          • title creates a sense of disorientation as the narrator appears to have no permanent home or identity through the reference to an “unstamped letter”    
            • The significance placed on letters, a human concept and creation, contrasts with the emphasis on nature as it is placed in a “rural letter box”
              • creates a sense of setting in a somewhat isolated location but maintaining close contact with the human world
                • Settings/ places
        • Time
        • Structure
          • one long narrative discourse
            • maintains the atmosphere of human comfort with continuance and emphasises the elevated position of the members of society, at which this poem is aimed, who tend to abuse their generally self-assumed positions of superiority, leaving the lesser fortunate feeling worthless and inferior.
          • regular ABAB rhyme scheme further reinforces this sense of contentment as it creates an impression of rhythmic fluidity and naturalness, therefore also reminiscent of the “rural” setting depicted in the title    

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