Robert Frost Questions and Answers

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Discuss Robert Frost's themes of modernism, such as urbanization, loneliness, and individualism, with reference to "Mending Wall," "Oven Bird," and "Acquainted with the Night." 

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At first glance, Robert Frost doesn’t seem to have much in common with the experimental poetry of the Modernist writers; his poetry often relies on traditional forms, rhymes, and blank verse. Frost famously said that “writing free verse was like playing tennis with the net down”; he didn’t "break the rules" like other Modernist poets who wanted to be free of poetic limitations. However, even though his forms are traditional, he shares many thematic connections with Modernist writers, and many critics point to this “darker” aspect in his poems. In “Mending Wall,” “The Oven Bird,” and “Acquainted with the Night,” one can note an increasing sense of Modernist themes such as a sense of fragmentation, a sense of loss, and a sense of loneliness arising when one is cut off from nature and people.

“Mending Wall” (published in 1914) is about the forces of fragmentation that threaten to break things apart. The speaker tells the story of how he and his neighbor work together...

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