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Birches Setting

4 Pages 1020 Words

In any life, one must endure hardship to enjoy the good times. According to Robert Frost, the author of “Birches”, enduring life’s hardships can be made easier by finding a sane balance between one’s imagination and reality. The poem is divided into four parts: an introduction, a scientific analysis of the bending of birch trees, an imaginatively false analysis of the phenomenon involving a New England farm boy, and a reflective wish Frost makes, wanting to return to his childhood. All of these sections have strong underlying philosophical meanings. Personification, alliteration, and other sound devices support these meanings and themes.
Frost supports the theme by using language to seem literal, yet if one visualizes the setting and relates it to life, the literal and figurative viewpoints can be nearly identical. Take this example: “Life is too much like a pathless wood”. This simile describes how one can be brought down by the repetitive routine of day-to-day life, but only if one processes the barren, repetitive forest scene that Frost paints in that sentence. Sound devices also add to the effect of the poem. Frost gives the image of the morning after an ice storm, as the ice cracks on the birch trees: “They click upon themselves / As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored / As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel. / Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells / Scattering and avalanching on the snow crust--” The repeating /s/, /z/, and /k/, sounds in this passage are strong examples of alliteration, and sound devices are crucial in the image presented; calm, reflecting, and romanticizing, like a quiet walk in the woods. The /k/ sound is the sound of the ice cracking off of the birches and “shattering” and crashing “on the snow crust.” The /s/ and /z/ sounds suggest the rising morning breeze, and they increase as the passage continues.
Birch trees are naturally very flexible. Frost explains...

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