"The Bear" is one of Robert Frost's sardonic nature poems that purports to be about flora or fauna but in reality provides satiric commentary upon the nature of humanity. Other poems in this vein include "Nothing Gold Can Stay" and "Departmental."
The poem begins by describing a free-roaming bear that powerfully strips a tree of its berries and then lopes across the countryside disregarding rock walls, barbed-wire fences, and trees. Frost then transitions from the bear to mankind with the statement, "The world has room to make a bear feel free; / The universe seems cramped to you and me." The rest of the poem describes the extremes of human endeavor via science (symbolized by the telescope and microscope) and philosophy (represented by "one Greek" and "another Greek").
In this second part of the poem, Frost uses the caged bear as an analogy . We've all seen bears in the zoo, notably polar bears, that keep retracing a circuit from one end of their enclosure to the other or sit in place...
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