What is the tone of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"? Explain.
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is a poem by Robert Frost consisting of four quatrains. It is told from the point of view of a nameless first-person narrator who is riding his horse along a trail through the New England forest on the longest night of the year, i.e. the winter solstice.
The narrator thinks that he knows the owner of the woodland surrounding the trail but is not absolutely sure, as no houses are visible from where he is currently riding. The reason he is thinking about this is that he is somewhat concerned about trespassing, although as the owner lives in the village he won't see the narrator out in the woods. Thus the first sense we get of tone is that the narrator is concerned with politeness and also a certain scrupulousness.
Next, the narrator thinks his horse may be confused by his stopping with "no farmhouse near" because that is not something the narrator normally does. This emphasizes that the tone of the narrator is polite and considerate, and also slightly tentative.
The bleak landscape and time of year add a melancholic aspect to the tone, further emphasized by the narrator's desire to stop for some reason not specified in the snow on a deserted road. The sense of the beauty of the woods and the narrator's having things to do which prevent him from staying, and the mention of "miles to go before I sleep" add a melancholic flavor to the tone.
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