The Road Not Taken - Story & Destination
A man comes across 'two roads' in a 'yellow wood' and has to decide which one to travel by as he cannot 'travel both'. In the end he takes the one that 'wanted wear' but in reality both had worn 'really about the same' but he claims that he 'took the one less travelled by' which has 'made all the difference'.
- Humans feel the need to agonise over decisions in life when in reality, it is pointless as all ends in death as we will never know the impact of picking the other options. Ultimately does it make a difference? - 'Had worn them really about the same' - both are 'just as fair'
- Humans feel the need to justify our decisions 'I took the one less travelled by'
- Set in 'yellow wood' - ambiguous setting gives off a sense that it is a metaphor for life - Yellow woods - Autumn, a time of change, death as though another chapter of life has ended and we are proceeding into another.
The Road Not Taken - Setting
- Yellow woods - Ambiguous, Autumn, change, death - A time of change, a need to make a decision quickly - Adds to metaphor of life being seen as a natural journey - we do not have a choice with time, time and change happen naturally - we question how much control we have over our lives through the decisions that we make - so why agonise over decisions?
- Woods - often asosciated with isolation, darkness, a place of unknown and magical happenings like in fairy tales - Perhaps represents the pressure to make a decision, darkness - not knowing what decisions will bring therefore why agonise when we will never know of the future? Isolation - making decisions in life is a personal and individual thing that everyone must do - Makes message more universal.
The Road Not Taken - Time & Structure
- Present tense - implied - Perhaps to take the reader through the journey of decision making, allowing reader to relate.
- Projection of future - 'I shall be telling this with a sigh' - Romanticise his decision making. If we look at this story from a literal point of view, it seems like a trivial thing to be telling to other people. - Humans feel the need to romanticise decisions and justify as to why the decision was made and agonise over what impact it would of made if we had picked the other option when we will never actually find out.
- The structure of the poem is predictable - 5 lines each with the first and third line rhyming in every stanza - Life is predictable and therefore we should not agonise over decisions - perhaps promoting the idea of destiny and fate? -
- Perhaps showing life as a repetitive process and that many people's lives turn out the same - travel the same roads.
The Road Not Taken - Voice
- Tone of regret - 'I shall be telling this with a sigh' - 'To where it meant in the undergrowth' - Deals with the idea that choosing one opportunity means sacrificing the other - We never do appreciate what we gained through the decision we did make but instead agonise over what we didn't gain by sacrificing the other.
- Irony - child-like tone - 'I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference' - Frost is perhaps mocking humans for needing to justify their decisions through to the very end and attach pointless meaning to them because in reality - we have no evidence that our decisions had made all the difference.
The Wood Pile - Story & Destination
STORY & DESTINATION
Monologue - the narrators journey through a 'frozen swamp' on 'one gray day'. The narrator seems indecisive: 'I will turn back from here. No, I will go on farther' and seems lost: 'Too much alike to mark or name a place by'. He is then led by a bird to the 'wood-pile' that was left by an unknown 'someone'. The discovery of this seemingly unused 'wood-pile' produced by the unknown 'someone' in a deserted landscape leads us to the destination of the poem:
- Things that man produces are not worth much as they ultimately end in 'the slow smokeless burning of decay'.
The Wood Pile - Voice
- Uncertain Nature - 'So as to say for certain I was here - or somewhere else' - Emotional vulnerability - supported by personification of snow - 'The hard snow held me'. Humans are vulnerable and need the support of nature - again adding to the sense of the futility of human lives and our inablity to do thing without nature's support. Humans are weak
- We are introduced to a bird who the narrator gives a personality and thought processes to; 'He thought that I was after him for a feather' - suggests craving for intimacy with another person as he is in this isolated location leaving him no choice but to develop intimacy with a bird.
- Bird - 'He was careful to put a tree between us' - Representing fear
- 'White one in his tail' - cowardice. 'Make his last stand' - conflict of emotions - whether to make one decision or another.
- Narrator tends to speak to himself: 'I forgot him' and 'no I will go farther' and create thought proccesses for other characters reflects our tendency to view others through our own experiences - suggest perhaps how little we understand about others and their own motivations as they travel the same path towards understanding the world we share.
The Wood Pile - Time
- Chronology is linear - 'one gray day' - little sense of time passing by until narrator says he does not want to wish the bird 'good night' suggesting he has been wondering through the woods for so long that it has come to evening.
- This vague timeless quality is reflected in the discovery of the wood-pile which is 'older sure than this year's cutting' but impossible to identify as being made as one specific time. 'One gray day' could also be any gray day, adding to vague and timeless quality.
- Fact that little importance is given to the time, Frost could be trying to say that time itself is not important. It does not matter how long it takes us to get to our final destination but what we learn from our journey.
The Wood Pile - Setting & Destination
- Final destination of the narrator is also the final destination of the poem allowing reader to understand Frost's overarching metaphor.
- The time in which the wood-pile was made is unknown but we only know it has been left by it's creator and left to rot. It is only in tact thanks to the help of nature as 'what held it though on one side was a tree still growing' suggesting uselessness of human endeavor as it is held up by a living tree - nature is superior over humanity's efforts in creating.
- Further supported 'a stake and prop, these latter about to fall' - Human made prop is failing to do it's job whilst the tree that was not planted by humans is still doing it's job - ultimately nature lasts longer than man.
- The uselessness of the wood pile is emphasied as it is meant to 'warm the frozen swamp as best as it could' but instead only produces 'slow smokeless burning of decay' - ultimately no matter how hard humans try, it becomes insigificant in the face of nature's supremacy. - Our lives have no impact - pointless - we want to burn bright (Fruit of most people's lives - we want to create something that will last
After Apple-picking - Story
A man has been picking apples with his 'long two-pointed ladder' 'toward heaven still' and he stops picking apples as he says that he is 'done with apple-picking now' and is 'overtired' suggesting that he has been picking apples for a length of time already. He then moves on to talk about 'a barrel' that he 'didn't fill' creating a sense of regret. We then enter the narrator's dream as he is 'drowsing off' into 'winter sleep', a dream where 'magnified apples appear and dissappear' suggesting that this poem is a wider metaphor rather than literal and that the orchard that this poem is set in represents the world that we live in, a world full of opportunities and dreams.
It is clear that the narrator fears of leaving behind some opportunities that he could not 'cherish in hand' and 'not let fall' which has led him to become 'overtired' which leads us to the destination: Perhaps Frost is wanting the reader to reconsider the value of constantly striving to achieve every dream and opportunity in order to reach paradise or 'toward heaven still' when in the end, our lives just end in 'human sleep' which we could argue as death or perhaps reminding us that we cannot have every opportunity in life.
After Apple-picking - Setting
- Unspecified Orchard - ambiguous - allows us to attach metaphorical rather than literal meaning.
- Development of setting becomes hallucinatory, dream like - 'magnified apples appear and disappear' connecting notion of picking apples to picking opportunities in life and human desire to gather a 'great harvest' in life.
- 'Essence of winter sleep is on the night' - darkness, coldness, isolation, death and hibernation.
- Ladder - The ladder is pointing towards 'heaven still' representing humans striving to reach for paradise or heaven.
- Winter sleep in Orchard - There is a sense of change, transition to the end of life - death, perhaps signifying that the narrator is unable to reach for any more opportunities in life. The fact that it is set somewhere that is very much nature based perhaps shows opportunities in life as a natural process - they come and go naturally and that we as humans cannot control this and therefore perhaps Frost is saying that we should not agonise over missed opportunities as it is pointless.
- Dream - contemplating his own death and the worth of his life and the choices he has made.
After Apple-picking - Character
- Personified 'woodchuck' - even he is 'gone' from the scene leaving narrator alone to reflect on the worth of his life and the opportunities/dreams he achieved. No characters - isolation, loneliness
- Narrator wonders about his destination: whether he will have 'long sleep' or 'just some human sleep'.
- Isolation of narrator and his confusion about the 'strangeness' of his visions is representative of how humans normally are in life as they strive hard to think about their purpose in life as well as their worth and are anxious to 'cherish in hand' every opportunity that comes their way in fear of missing the key to the 'great harvest' to reach the 'heaven' they desire'. - Striving to find meaning in life
- Woodchuck - allows comparison of death and hibernation - a symbol for nature, life, spring and rebirth which could suggest that this ‘human sleep’ meaning death, is the start of a new life in ‘heaven still’, where humans are free like the woodchuck as birds are symbolic of freedom and peace. This links into the destination of the poem as although there are opportunities in life that we as humans sacrificed and ‘didn’t pick’, none of this matters as at the end of life, a. The woodchuck however could also be seen as a symbol for nature, life, spring and rebirth which could suggest that this ‘human sleep’ meaning death, is the start of a new life in ‘heaven still’, where humans are free like the woodchuck as birds are symbolic of freedom and peace. This links into the destination of the poem as although there are opportunities in life that we as humans sacrificed and ‘didn’t pick’, none of this matters as at the end of life, a new journey begins in ‘heaven’ where we can be free, signifying that it is pointless to agonise over things that we have left undone.
After Apple-picking - Voice
- Repeated use of 'I' highlights he is alone in life and his decision making processes.
- Very negative tone - focuses on things he didn't do - 'Barrels I didn't fill' and 'apples I didn't pick' suggesting disappointment in how he has led his life and the 'pressure' he has felt, constantly having to 'cherish' many opportunities.
- Prompts reader to consider the worth of us trying to achieve so much when it does not bring us any contentment; 'One can see what will trouble this sleep of mine' - Perhaps Frost is also trying to prompt that we should be happy and focus more on what we did achieve as agonising over things that we did not achieve is pointless and does not make us any happier in life.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - Story
A man stops by 'woods' on the 'darkest evening of the year' with his 'little horse' who hints that it is not part of their normal routine to do so; 'he gives his harness bells a shake to ask if there is some mistake', making it seem somewhat sinister giving off a sense of danger, isolation and the unknown. It seems that the narrator wants to stay in these 'lovely, dark and deep' woods but however has 'promises to keep' and has a long way to go before he can rest: 'Miles to go before I sleep'. The ambiguoty of the unspecified 'woods' gives a sense that this poem is more of a metaphor than literal meaning which brings us to the destination: Perhaps Frost is trying to say that humans always have places to be and pressing commitments to keep that we don't get a chance to enjoy simple things in life such as nature, before it is too late and we end in death.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - Setting
- Woods - ascociated with temptation - Garden of Eden - tempting the man in routine away from keeping his 'promises' - Get away from busy life for a moment.
- Woods - 'Woods are lovely dark and deep' - Oxymoronic - Conflict of whether to give into temptation - Humans tempted to break rules, to venture - always stay within the mainstream view on life - work hard to gain - no time to relax and enjoy until it is too late.
- Darkest evening of the year (Perhaps winter solstace) - isolation - allow narrator to appreciate tranquility whilst watching 'woods fill up with snow' - depicting beauty of nature - really focusing on this.
- Perhaps also representing death - end of journey, end of life - Humans still think about commitments
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - Voice/Struc
- Horse - personification 'gives his harness bells a shake to ask if there is some mistake' personification - warns him to get back on right track - other life forms are there to distract you from appreciation of life.
- Perhaps appreciation of life and nature can only happen when you venture out alone.
- Repeated use of 'I' - lonliness - life as a personal journey - appreciation of nature away from other people to allow humans to focus and reflect on true beauty of life.
- Rhyme scheme - reflecting life - dragged by obligation
- 3rd Line drops down - lethargic sense - snow falling, falling to death.
- Last line repeated - Falling to death, death nearing
- Predictable structure - life is predictable, actions of humans are predictable - ultimately humans stick to the preset guidelines of life.
'Out, Out -' - Story & Destination
A 'boy' in 'Vermont' who is chopping wood when his hand is caught in a 'buzz saw'. Later, the boy's hand is cut off by the 'Doctor' even though he pleas them to stop: 'Don't let him cut my hand off-'. The desperation to stop 'life from spilling', ultimately is ineffective as the boy ends in death and there seems to be a lack of care from the unspecified background characters: 'No more to build on there. And they, since they were not the ones dead, turned to their affairs'.
- 'Big boy doing man's work' - boys at war (Signed up when they were not of age) Young boys should not be handling dangerous violent jobs
- Contrast of peaceful vermont with sound of buzz saw 'snarled, and rattled' - repeated twice
- People not caring - Officers at war, people at home - generic terms to be more universal and allow us to picture people as ignorant.
- Personification of buzz saw - more of a metaphor for war - not reality. - Danger of mechanisation and how people are generally selfish - don't value other's life - we always stay indifferent
'Out, Out -' - Setting
Vermont - Specific place - nature, peaceful environment juxtaposed with machinery and constant reminder of violence. (War) War is always there no matter what - whether conflict between nature and urbanisation. - Nature corrupted by mechanisation
Effects of urbanisation on natural world.
- 'Five mountain ranges on behind the other'
- 'Under the sunset far into Vermont' - Luls us into false sense of security - 'day was all but done' - surprises the reader - building tension before be become too comfortable. - War is always around, we are never safe. Mechanisation makes us feel safe but it can be the most dangerous thing 'leaped out at the boy's hand'
'Out, Out -' - Voice & Character
- Anonymous people 'Doctor' 'Sister' - Represents many insignificant bystanders during war - Not care from family even. People only watch - no help is ever given. 'Don't let him cut my hand off' - personal connection adding empathy
- Insignificance of death as tone and voices are dispassionate even when the boy's pleas are distressful. 'and that ended it' - his life - no more to add on, blunt, unemotional death. - ignorance of people. - No panic or stress involved - removal of emotions.
- Sister - Reference to church? Not even God can save you? - Narractor makes Boy's death seem very unfair as it is distressful but everyone 'turned to their affairs' since 'they were not the ones dead' - Unfair judgement even in the presence of 'sister', a church related figure.
- Buzz saw personified - mechanism become out of control even when humans hadn't intended them on being dangerous. - Humans as foolish beings - We are meant to control objects but it may not always be so.
- 'Boy' - young, vulnerable, helpless, more distressful - shows people as more ignorant
'Out, Out -' - Time
- Fast pace - Short sentences and no detail on what happens
- Slow beginning - fast middle and end - He dies in 4 lines - 'puffed his lips out with his breath' 'and that ended it' - narrative gaps between hand being cut off and death - we don't know what the Doctor or Sister says, what they did, what the boy says in between etc. - Insignificance of his death - the main point of poem is to show indifference of people and how ignorant they are as they turned to their affairs.
- Unexpected death - slow build up, beautiful scenery, normal day in Vermont. Skips to hand being cut off - Unexpected and randomness of deaths in war. - Lives are easily destroyed.
The Axe-Helve - Story & Destination
First person narrator monologue begins to describe his experience of chopping wood on 'my own yard' when his French-Canadian neighbour, Baptiste 'stole' up behind him like an 'interfering branch' and catches his axe 'expertly'. The first impression of Baptiste seems sinister and suspicious although it is later revealed that his welcome 'differed from no other' and that Baptiste is merely seeking 'friendship' and to discuss traditional methods of working and views on education. The narrator's slow realisation of this leads us to the destination of the poem:
We should reconsider the value of tradition and community in an age where industrialisation and urbanisation is dominant, resulting in isolation and distrust as well us judging people without actually knowing them.
The Axe-Helve - Voice
- Initially superior and distrusting of his neighbour that he 'did not know well enough' to understand and is dismissive of his motives - 'Something to sell'
- Narrator emphasises Baptiste's French-Canadian nationality through reporting his speech in provincial vernacular depicting him as intellectually inferior, as well as highlighting the difference in culture.
- Attitude towards Baptiste changes when he visits his home and realises that Baptiste is a wise man: 'Baptiste knew how to make a short job long... and not waste time either'.
- Mrs Baptiste may be silent but rocks with 'as many motions as the world' suggesting depths of untapped wisdom.
- Baptiste gets his axes out to show him 'needlessly', showing that a friendship and respect has been formed between them, signifying acceptance of different cultures and ways of modernisation and traditional.
- Gradual understanding of Baptiste's wisdom reflects destination of poem - we should reflect on the way we judge those who are different to ourselves without making the effort to know them as we may find more in common that we had thought or learn something valuable. By judging, we may end in distrust and unnecessary isolation.
The Axe-Helve - Character
- Baptiste - A poor, rural French Canadian man who is an outsider in his New England community, Baptiste is eager to make connections with the narrator and does it in the only way he knows - by sharing his knowledge of axe-making 'he showed me that the lines of a good helve were native to the grain'. - Clear that Baptiste is lonely revealed when he desperately wants the narrator to come 'tonaght' , and his simple kindness is shown when he welcomes the narrator to his home and chooses to give him the 'best' axe he has.
- From this, we see that Baptiste was not the sinister figure who 'stole' 'behind' from the beginning, but a figure of wisdom and guidance - Like his Biblical namesake John the Baptist who spoke of the coming of a Messiah before Jesus' identity as mankind's saviour was made known. Just like how John the Baptist's motives and purpose was misunderstood throughout history, Baptiste's purpose is to perhaps reveal the foolishness of mankind, revealing the lack of respect for traditional ways of living and how devalued it is as it is replaced by 'machine-made' products.
- Modern society's valuing of personal territory 'my own yard' and money 'like two strokes across a dollar sign' have no place in Baptiste's traditonal which has 'warmth' unlike the forbidding isolated 'yard' belonging to the narrator that does not welcome anyone.
The Axe-Helve - Setting
- Setting allows reader to have greater understanding of the overall message. The narrator is initially isolated and working alone on 'snow' in his 'own back yard'. However, when the narrator enters Baptiste's home, his suspicions of Baptiste is replaced by acceptance as he realises Baptiste is not much different to himself as he finds 'a welcome differed from no other'.
- In Baptiste's home, the where there is 'warmth' and a 'stove', juxtaposes with the cold and isolated 'yard' that the narrator was at.
- This is where Frost highlights the true value of life: it lies in the traditional heart of the home where companionship and family is most important rather than the alone world represented by the narrator's 'yard'.
- Frost also highlights the insignificance of material things as they lead to no satisfaction as it is merely 'cutting nothing not cut down already'. We can find comfort in traditional things too.
An Unstamped Letter - Story & Destination
The narrator who claims to be 'just a tramp' writes a letter to the owner of the garden and house in which he compares to a 'city park'. He does this to tell the owner that he 'used your pasture for a camp' and through the use of celestial imagery such as 'universal space' and 'the largest firedrop ever formed from two stars' having coalesced', he explains that he has an epiphany moment where the meaning of life became 'plain' to see.
This leads us to the destination of the poem as the tramp 'seem to boast' that he was able to have this epiphany due to being out in 'universal space', undistracted by materials, which allow him to see clearly unlike the owner of this 'city park' who can only see through a 'rusty screen'. This is therefore Frost perhaps trying to say that nowadays, consumerism and materialism has become the main focus in our society, making us become confined and isolated and take measures to protect our pocessions 'last night your watchdog barked all night' when in reality, matrials are not an 'advantage' in life but a disadvantage as they distract us from seeing the true meaning of life and the beauty of nature.
An Unstamped Letter - Voice
- First person narrative in a form of a letter in order to make us feel as though he is talking at the reader, so that perhaps we feel mocked.
- Boastful and mocking tone, arogant and sarcastic - 'And for a moment all was plain that men have thought about in vain' - only one to figure it out, thinks highly of himself even though he claims to just be a 'tramp'
- Sarcastic - 'Each knows his own discernment best' - talks as though he is superior - provoke the reader and the owner of the house to want to experience the epiphany as well - mocks us, basically saying even with 'advantages' of materials we still can't experience this. We are missing out and we don't even know it.
- Judgemental - challenging expectations and assumptions of people when we do not know what is beneath the surface. Tramp - feels he is superior as he sees the person in the house as living a meaningless life with meaningless materials - he is telling us not to judge how fully each person lives their lives just based on materials owned when in reality he himself is judging the person in the house as someone that is building barriers, someone who only lives to collect materials and not live life fully.
An Unstamped Letter - Setting
- Watchdog - no trust, a need to protect possessions. Obssessed over our posessions and materials. 'barking' - violent connotations, disrupt peaceful, natural environment - indicating its not how the world is meant to be.
- 'City park' - Reference to urbanisation - juxtaposed with natural imagery of the park - although character is alone, he is not, it is lively like a 'city park' - enthasise isolation of the man in the house.
- 'Universal space' - metaphor more than literal - Natural and out of this world sense to add more worth and beautiful celestial imagery to his epiphany and to emphasise beauty of this world, what the man in the house is missing out on.
- Rusty screen - clouding judgement due to materialism - what is more important in life?
- Outside house vs inside house - although they are so close they are in two different worlds - tramp is in 'univsersal space' whilst the owner is in a house that is 'locked' and guarded by a 'watchdog' 'barking' - enthasis on freedom what what life is really about - materials restrains us to understand this and instead puts us behind a 'rusty screen'
An Unstamped Letter - Structure
- Self centred monologue
- Rigid structure - could represent rigid structure of society and conflicts between the tramps view on life that he has discovered through camping out in this 'universal space': we should experience and value the true beauty of nature to live life to the fullest unlike the man in the house who is 'locked' and guarded by a 'watch dog' 'barking'. Not welcoming anyone. Tramp is out in the open, able to connect with the world around him.
- Rigid structure - trying to break the mould of society - trying to provoke us to view life in a different way - value nature
- One stanza - 1 thought - 1 way of thinking - not open minded perhaps. Feels he is truly right and doesn't take into consideration of others although he sarcastically says 'one knowshis concernment best' - in reality he really is mocking the man inside the house - judging him to be someone who is not capable of experiencing this epiphany and understanding as he sees things through a 'rusty screen', clouded by materials.
Considerable Speck - Story & Destination
There is a 'speck' on a 'paper sheet so white' and the narrator wonders whether the speck is alive with 'inclinations it could call its own'. He then wants to 'stop it with a period of ink' but decides to 'let it lie there' till it 'slept'.
- Telling us about process of writing poetry - no matter how big or small an idea is, it can evolve into a bigger idea.
- Something small can still be significance, we as humans always doubt things but don't see things to the very end, perhaps if we did, we could discover something more: 'No one can know how glad I am to find on any sheet the least display of mind'.
Considerable Speck - Setting
- 'paper sheet so white' - representative of people discovering potential. - we are all born with potential like a blank piece of paper.
- However, in ‘A considerable speck’, it is set on a ‘paper sheet so white’, a simple and uncrowded space, which could suggest the literal meaning that the narrator is either about to write something or the metaphorical view of the paper being a representation of a blank mind or perhaps an unfilled life, something everyone is born with but gradually fill up with experiences in life.
- White - blank, pure - we start of pure and free of sin
- This idea of the paper representing a blank or an unclouded mind links into the destination as we as humans are all born simple with blank minds but we choose to rapidly fill and overcomplicate our minds with things that society has taught us to value such as education and money. Perhaps Frost is suggesting here that sometimes, instead of overcrowding and overcomplicating our lives unnecessarily, we should un-cloud our minds and ‘let it lie there’ in order to let things in life come naturally to us with patience.
Considerable Speck - Structure
- separate his thoughts from everyone else's, to be his own creater and artist instead of being influenced by others. - to break the mould - break - come back
- Mobile rhyme scheme - movement of speck, mind of it's own. Ideas can run wild.
- The structure of the poem is also interesting as the entire poem is split into 2 extremely unequal stanzas, the first being of 30 lines long and the second being only 4 lines long. In the first stanza, there are very few full stops and the long length of this poem could suggest that the narrator is thinking without pausing to ‘let it lie there’ or giving very little chance for the speck to express itself: ‘to express how much it didn’t want to die’.
- This could suggest the conflict between the narrator, also known as the creator, and the speck, known as the idea suggesting that the narrator is unsatisfied with the idea that he has created.
- The speck being seen as vulnerable as it ‘cowered in desperation’ could suggest how ideas are easily gotten rid of, perhaps a reminder of the fact that we should be more ‘considerable’ to each and every idea.
- The rigidness of the first stanza could further this idea of conflicting ideas or an un-orientated, confused direction of where the idea is traveling. However, there is a gap between the first and the second stanza, representative of the narrator pausing to ‘let it lie there’, perhaps to rest and organise his thoughts. ‘I have a mind myself and recognize…’ This links into the destination as Frost may be trying to express that after the ups and downs of forming ideas or establishing your life, one will have a period to organise their thoughts and in the end, everything will fall into place and become clear, represented in the last solid stanza consisting of 4 lines which are of similar lengths.
Considerable Speck - Character
- The character in this poem is ‘a speck’ that is personified to deal with emotions such as ‘terror’ and ‘desperation’. The narrator is seemingly in control of the speck as he is able to ‘stop it with a period of ink’ which establishes the narrator as the creator of the speck. Moving speck - freedom of ideas
- At first, it seemed that the speck was nothing more than a speck of dust but it is later revealed that it is a mite; something that is alive which creates a metaphorical sense of the speck, representative of inspiration and ideas, having a mind of its own.
- The oxymoronic title of ‘Considerable speck’ also furthers this idea of a seemingly small and insignificant speck becoming something much more important, with a mind of its own: ‘with inclinations it could call its own’, suggesting that ideas that we create, although start off insignificant and small, can later evolve and become something that perhaps even the creator is incapable of controlling.
- This perhaps presents humans as powerful creators of our own ‘sheets’, painters of our own life canvases which hold great potential in creating life. We could also view the uncontrollable speck which deals unexpected emotions and actions as the unexpected events that happen in life due to our own seemingly insignificant actions.
- Links in to the destination - we as humans have great potential in creating things that matter but we however do not understand how our small actions can impact greatly on events in later life which however also seems to be out of our control once the primary action is made - we should let things happen naturally to give time for life to unfold.
The Draft Horse - Story & Destination
A third person narrative that tells the story of a group of people travelling in a 'too frail a buggy' with a 'tantern that wouldn't burn' and a 'too heavy a horse' when very suddenly, 'a man came out of the trees' and 'stabbed' the horse 'dead' and from then on they had to 'walk the rest of the way'. The fact that many of these possessions seem to not work and things seem to go wrong brings us to the destination: Forst is perhaps trying to tell us that...
- We can survive in a simple world, possessions mean nothing, we accept situations and keep going.
- Materials are not reliable and have no use, we need to rely on our own strengths to find our destination
- Materials don't last forever.
- Life is full of unknown events, you never know what will happen - we should just go with it and try.
The Draft Horse - Voice
- 'we' instead of 'I' - life more endurable when together - we go through life not alone.
- More univsersal - life happens to all of us, events happen to all of us unexpectably.
- Voice is emotionally detached - very accepting of death of horse. - Humans are strong, accepts fate and moves on.
The Draft Horse - Setting
Dark grove - wood, trees, latent menance lurks, fear - sets scene for fear of unknown, scary things happen, bad things happen. - to emphasis bravery of humans later
- Unable to see since it's dark - fear of the unknown of the future but humans still keep on going
- Ambiguous - more of a metaphor than literal meaning - Universal for every path available in life.
The Draft Horse - Structure
Rigid and predictable - inevitability of our deaths
Rigid - not a smooth life, things go wrong and all we can do is keep going to reach the end.