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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Why does the speaker refer to the owner of the woods in the opening stanza of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"?

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By bringing up the owner of these woods, the speaker in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" establishes a contrast between those who immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and those who are content to live in the "village," presumably surrounded by people and busyness.

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By bringing up the owner of these woods, the speaker in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" establishes a contrast between those who immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and those who are content to live in the "village," presumably surrounded by people and busyness.

The owner of these woods is not a farmer or a rural resident; instead he owns this seemingly expansive stretch of land while living in a more "civilized" area. He is presumably some sort of business man; the fact that he can acquire parcels of land separately from his own residence indicates that he is of elevated economic standing. It can therefore be assumed that the owner has some degree of influence in their community, and trespassing on his property therefore increases the tension of the speaker's choice to pause in this spot. The speaker is thus uninvited and seemingly unwelcome here, yet he longs to absorb the beauty of this wintry scene for as long as possible.

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