An Old Man's Winter Night Analysis Essay

1230 Words Mar 31st, 2013 5 Pages
An Old Man’s Winter Night
This is a very haunting poem about an old man who stands alone dying in a dark house in winter. His memory is failing him and because of that he doesn’t know who he is or why he is in the house but he stays there inside the house because of the gruelling winter weather outside. There is no sense that the old man is existing for anyone or anything, he is purely alone. He is alone not only because no one is with him, but also because there will be no one to remember him after he dies. He develops a fear of the cellar beneath him and the darkness that lies outside so he strikes the ground in an attempt to frighten the unknown rather than confronting his fears. Finally, he falls asleep in front of the fire only to be
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Frost’s use of personification, “like the roar of trees” is used to give a more humanistic quality to the trees to create a more eerie surrounding. Onomatopoeia

is used “crack of branches” to make you think about the sound and to give a realistic feel to the poem, but more significantly alliteration is used, “doors darkly”, “beating box” and “separate stars”, this makes the poem sound more pleasant to the readers. There is also evidence of internal rhyme on the tenth line “In clomping there, he scared it once again” An internal rhyme puts emphasis on the two words that rhyme and quickens the pace of the line. On the twenty third line, he used caesura to form important thoughts rather than breaking it “And slept.The log that shifted with a jolt”. There are eight strong enjambments throughout the poem helping it to run on and flow into the next line and continue momentum instead of the usual rhythm a poem would have.
The mood of the poem is sad and disheartening. Frost’s use of imagery creates a sad setting. “All out of doors looked darkly in at him” could almost mean that people know and see that he is alone in the house but yet they choose to ignore it. The tone of the poem is candid, almost as if Frost is just telling a story without any feeling or emotion being put into it. From reading the poem, we realise that the old man is alone but the writer never clarifies the reason why, he only repeats that he is completely isolated and beyond the comfort of