What are the contrasting images of the natural world and the manmade world in the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," the narrator finds himself deep in nature, where the woods "fill up with snow" (line 4). However, the man who owns the woods lives in the village, so, as the narrator says, "He will not see me stopping here" (line 3). The man cannot see the snow landing on his land. The horse is more accustomed to the manmade world, so the animal finds it strange to stop without a farmhouse nearby. Instead of stopping at a farmhouse, the narrator has stopped "Between the woods and frozen lake/ The darkest evening of the year" (lines 7-8). In other words, the narrator is deep in nature, surrounded by darkness, without traces of the manmade world around him.

For the rest of the poem, the narrator relates only what is occurring in nature, including the sound of the wind and the snow and the "lovely, dark, and deep" woods (line 13). He is momentarily lost in nature. However, at the end of the poem, he again feels the tug of the manmade world, calling him to fulfill promises before he can sleep when he returns to civilization and emerges from nature.    

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

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