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Design Robert Frost

3 Pages 749 Words

Critical Response to Poem

In Robert Frosts poem "Design" he uses examples of simile and imagery. He evokes many

feelings about the apperence of the spider, flower and moth in the poem. As the poem unfolds all of

these aspects come together so you can fully understand the theme of the poem.

The poem begins with a description of a scene. The scene takes place at night (line 12)

and involves three characters: A spider, a moth, and a flower. In line one, Frost describes the

spider. The spider is like any other, “fat” and “dimpled” (line 1). However, unusually, the spider is

white. Atypically, Frost has given a color associated with purity and innocence to the spider. In line

two, Frost describes the flower. Like the spider, the flower, a heal all, is given the unfitting color,

white. The spider is on the heal-all, holding up a moth, presumably one, which the spider killed. In

line three, Frost elaborates on the moth. The moth, like the spider and heal-all, is white. Frost

compares the appearance and texture of the moth to satin, a delicate material similar to silk. Satin,

usually soft and supple, is described here as “rigid.” This description ties into the death of the moth

and the texture of its wings. Given the first three lines, on the surface it seems as though one

character is guilty of killing the moth: The spider. However, in line four, Frost refers to “assorted

characters of death and blight.” He alludes to the responsibility of multiple characters for the moth’s

death. Line five clarifies the time. Early in the morning, before the sun has risen, the spider, moth,

and flower are ready to begin the day. In line six, frost compares the situation and its players to “a

witches broth.” Each component contributes to the product. Frost points out the lack of innocence

in the entire scene. Frost finishes his description by recounting the indivi...

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