illustration of a snowy forest with a cabin in the distance

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost

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Who is the owner of the woods mentioned in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost?

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The opening lines of this poem have the narrative character speculating on who owns the woods. The main point of this speculation is to inform the reader that the woods are not the narrator’s, but rather simply territory through which he is passing on his way home. The lines tell us these woods do not belong to a working rural landowner, but instead are the property of a (presumably well-off) village-dweller, not a working farmer or lumberman. These details, in Frost’s time, meant there were financial “classes” of society separated by wealth – owners vs. workers. We know little else in detail about the owner, but the general tenor of the poem, with its underlying note of appreciation for beauty and tranquility, suggests to the reader that there is a contrast in aesthetic appreciation between the classes, also. Readers also know little about the narrator—is he a farm owner, a traveling merchant, a working man?

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