Essay on Robert Frost's Design

1151 Words5 Pages
Robert Frost's Design Robert Frost outlines an ironic and disturbing situation involving a flower, a spider, and a moth in his poem "Design". The poem's text suggests the possibility of an absence of a god, but does no more than simply beg the question, for Frost's speaker does not offer the answer. By examining the events of the poem in the first stanza and the speaker's annotative second stanza, we…show more content…
The purpose of the plant's mention in the poem is to be the ironic stage for what is soon to occur. To complete the image, the speaker declares that this white spider on a white plant "hold[s] up a moth / [l]ike a white piece of rigid satin cloth" (2-3). White again, the moth also represents innocence, just as the spider and heal-all do. This model is ironic: an innocent spider on an innocent heal-all holds up an innocent dead moth. The simile in which the speaker describes the moth, "[l]ike a white piece of satin cloth" (3), refers to a piece of a torn wedding dress, symbolizing the vulnerability of things considered to be holy, such as holy matrimony. Frost designates the spider, heal-all, and moth as "[a]ssorted characters of death and blight" (4), suggesting that all three had a part in the moth's fatality. Ironically, Frost uses the word "blight" inferring the heal-all's backward influence, such as if aloe were to cause an infection. Frost again uses irony proclaiming that these characters are "[m]ixed ready to begin the morning right" (5), as though they are ‘part of a balanced breakfast,' a ritualistic practice which ensues good health. In this line, the poet implies that the death scene and others like it must occur in order for life to continue on each morning for particular creatures; this spider's breakfast is an occurrence of Darwinist natural selection. The poet then conveys this breakfast

More about Essay on Robert Frost's Design

Open Document