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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What are the allegory and metaphors in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"?

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I'm not sure I would call Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" allegorical in any sense.  One might say it's symbolic or that it involves an extended metaphor, but I don't see it as an allegory.

If the poem is symbolic or involves an extended metaphor, it is in the sense that the absent land owner, separated from nature, symbolizes humans who are separated from nature and don't realize what they're missing.  Connected to this interpretation is the opposition of the man-made (such as the barn), with the natural (the snow and woods).  The speaker/character, too, though he appreciates the natural, cannot stay to admire it because of human responsibilities. 

The poem may also close with a metaphor:

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Some commentators suggest this is a metaphor for death.  In this interpretation, though the speaker longs for the peace of death (sleep), he chooses to fulfill his responsibilities and promises, rather than to seek what he wishes. 

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