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How do the images used by Frost relate to the larger political realities of the period?

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saulsarena | Student | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted January 17, 2013 at 12:03 AM via web

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How do the images used by Frost relate to the larger political realities of the period?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:23 AM (Answer #1)

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Frost wrote a number of his poems in the 1930s a time that was characterised by the Great Depression but also a time of immense personal tragedy for Frost as he lost his wife and some of his children over this period as well. Frost's poetry, it is argued by some, captures both a weariness of the chaotic nature of this particular period of history with a desire to disengage completely from social life and the way that environment presents so many limitations on man and his own ideal of freedom. Frost therefore links the realities of the Depression with his own cynical distrust of any solution that can alleviate the tragedy of the situation.

In "Not Quite Social," for example, the speaker attempts to disassociate himself from the city and argues:

The city's hold on a man is no more tight

Than when its walls rose higher than any roof.

The speaker fears his audience will make fun of him because of his desire to "flee the earth," yet he maintains that although he is trapped on earth, he is held "but loosely," representing his desire to disengage from the political realities of the world and also indicating his belief that the city, even in such a time of political and economic poverty, has no greater intrinsic claim on individuals in society than it ever did. In spite of the momentous political events going on around him, Frost therefore maintains man can and perhaps should be disassociated from his environment. Often society is presented as trying to prevent this, as the above quote reflecting the wider political concerns of the day suggests.

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