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in the poem Design by Robert Frost. How would you think a Puritan writer would have...

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luperolon1

Posted September 5, 2013 at 2:21 PM via web

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in the poem Design by Robert Frost. How would you think a Puritan writer would have answered this question frost asked in the poem?

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted September 5, 2013 at 3:10 PM (Answer #1)

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In the poem 'Design' by Robert Frost the poet describes finding a dead moth which he presumes has been killed by the spider that is carrying it and he questions the circumstances around the event. Like many of us, he probably found it fairly easy to wonder at the design in Nature when it looked truly 'Godly' (the Grand Canyon, the Irish Giant's Causeway, the sweeping dunes of the Sahara) yet is intrigued by how even the tiniest living things seem to work by a sense of some sort of 'order.'

I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth --
Assorted characters of death and blight

The word 'assorted' seems to imply the opposite - an accidental collection, yet he still wonders at the 'reasons' for it. Puritans would have been astounded at the question :

What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small. 

because to them it didn't need asking. Everything was in God's ordnance, his Great Plan or Divine Plan and every living thing abided or was governed by that, no matter how great or small. Creatures were there to serve his plan as were humans and all must subsume and acquiesce without question for only God knows what is good for us whether human or animal. The moth seems like a murderer and the white flower an altar with the poor moth as sacrifice.

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