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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost
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What do the house, village, and farmhouse symbolize in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"?

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In Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” the house, farmhouse, and village could symbolize civilization. In the first stanza, the speaker speculates about the owner of the woods. The speaker says the woods belong to someone far away. His “house is in the village.” The distance between the woods and the house/village demonstrates the isolation of the speaker. The speaker is not surrounded by people but by nature, including his horse.

In the second stanza, the horse is puzzled. The animal doesn’t understand why the speaker would “stop without a farmhouse near.” As with the village and house, the farmhouse seems to symbolize civilization. A farmhouse is a product of humans and might represent shelter. The absence of a farmhouse further reinforces the remoteness of the speaker. It bolsters the solitary, person-against-nature atmosphere of the poem. The woods are a setting that departs from humanity. Unlike the farmhouse, the village, and the house, the woods are not inhabited by humans. Separated from people, the speaker can focus on the “lovely, dark and deep” aspects of nature.

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