The Symbolism of Humanity in Robert Frost's Poems

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Robert Frost is a prominent American with many well known poems under his belt. Some of these poems include Nothing Gold Can Stay and Stopping by woods on a snowy evening. When Frost writes, he likes focusing on his personal experiences and the human condition. He may be tackling more grims topics but he likes showing his wit by adding some humor. Some might find his humor glib and disregard it. But they miss the more muted humor, that makes his work interesting.

Frost uses the human condition in many of his poems. The human condition is a word that tries to explain why humans act in an inhuman way to one and other. The human condition ranges from small every day things such as shelifishness to more severe things like murder. The most obvious poem that this theme is in showcased is Departmental. It is showed in Departmental by the lack of feeling the ant had for the dormant moth. In this poem the insects represent humans and how they are always working in their own projects; as a result of this they are too busy to worry about other people. So just like the ants humans go along with their own business and leave the problem for someone else. This is not an inherently bad way of living, but if you live this you will lose remorse and insight from other people. In this line Frost shows how humans miss important insights by worrying about themselves too much:

Yet if he encountered one

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Of the hive's enquiry squad

Whose work is to find out God

And the nature of time and space,

He would put him onto the case.

Ants are a curious race; (Frost 8-13)

The ant in these lines is too stuck in his own business to gain insight from one of the hives enquiry squad; even though he was curious. Another poem where the human condition is very prominent is The Mending Wall. The The Mending Wall has three main identifiable themes curiosity, tradition, and the division of people. All three of these main themes go hand in hand in this poem. The speaker in the poem and the neighbor meet up every spring to fix the wall. But the speaker sees the wall as unnecessary so out of curiosity, he asks why they need the wall. But the speaker always gets unsatisfactory answers like “Good fences make good neighbors”. The poem relates back to the human condition because the neighbor is so stuck on tradition and isolationism he does not care what happens to anyone or anything except himself and his wall separating him from the world. From reading Frost’s poems you can tell he has a witty humor, some might say to witty. But it is evident that frost likes to add humor to his poems and stories.

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