What is the main theme of Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It would be very easy to prove that the main theme of the Robert Frost poem "Fire and Ice" is the destructive nature of emotions run amok. Whether it be hate or love, both can consume us if they are not controlled.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

You can probably read this poem on many levels.  One of them might be as a comment on relationships gone bad, or which could go bad.  The "fire" option may represent the passions --- greed, anger, lust, yelling, confrontation --- you get the idea.  Any of these can destroy a relationship (or a world).  On the other hand, the "ice" --- chill in relationship, ignoring the other, not communicating, perhaps even hatred --- these would do just as well in destroying a relationship (or a world).

What is not said, but suggested, is that there must be a middle that can prevent either of these from happening, either the first time or the next.  It's interesting to see how this poems works not so much by what it says, but by what it doesn't say.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial