Interpretation Of Poe Essay

& # 8217 ; s Fire And Ice Essay, Research Paper

Fire and Ice

( From Harper & # 8217 ; s Magazine, December 1920. )

1 Some say the universe will stop in fire,

2 Some say in ice.

3 From what I & # 8217 ; ve tasted of desire

4 I hold with those who favor fire.

5 But if it had to die twice,

6 I think I know plenty of hatred

7 To cognize that for devastation ice

8 Is besides great

9 And would do.

When I foremost read this verse form, the first thing that I notice is general thought that whoever is talking ( in foremost individual ) is depicting the terminal of the universe. The first thing that comes to mind is the film & # 8220 ; Armageddon & # 8221 ; and meteors firing up the Earth, stand foring the fire. I can besides see the planet covered with great glaciers with everything buried beneath sheets of ice. That is particularly scaring to me as I live here in warm Hawaii. I can understand the actual significance, that the individual who is talking says if the universe were to stop they would prefer fire, but ice will besides make. These are things I know to be true upon a first reading.

Another thing I looked at was the construction of this verse form. It is arranged so that there is a riming strategy, which I believe was knowing by the writer. The manner the verse form seems held together by the rhyming is aesthetically delighting. One thing interesting that I saw was the strategy in lines 6 and 8 differ from the remainder of the verse form. The words that rime are & # 8220 ; detest & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; great & # 8221 ; , which is an dry association to do between something considered bad and something which is by definition good. Another thing I noticed about the rhyming was that in the first 4 lines, the word ice ( 2 ) does non rime with fire and desire. This may hold been to demo an initial contrast between fire and ice.

Now that I have established what I know, I now ask myself some inquiries about what I do non cognize about this verse form from an initial reading. How do fire, ice, desire, and hatred relate? Why is their relationship of import? What is Frost seeking to state in this verse form? These are the chief inquiries that I had.

To get down to cover with the first inquiry, in line 3, the talker says & # 8220 ; From what I & # 8217 ; ve tasted of desire & # 8221 ; and so continues into line 4 with & # 8220 ; I hold with those who favor fire & # 8221 ; here the talker makes a connexion between fire and desire. I believe he is seeking to utilize fire as a metaphor for desire. From personal experience, I know a desire can be all consuming and much like a wild fire ramping out of control and destructing everything in its way. The talker besides appears to understand how destructive desire can be, and makes it his first pick for the terminal of the universe.

Then the talker speaks in the 2nd half of the verse form. There he states in line 7 of how ice & # 8220 ; Is besides great & # 8221 ; for devastation based on their cognition of hatred. Here the talker makes a connexion similar to that used in first half, except here between ice and hatred. It should be noted that the writer is executing the same procedure with two sets of opposite things, desire and fire, and hatred and ice. I can besides associate to how cold hatred is. When I do things I truly hate, it feels like clip and the clock custodies are frozen in clip. Hate is besides cold in the sense that

when one truly hates something, they will make anything to do injury or extinguish it, no affair what the effects. Any bosom can be frozen in hatred’s Fe clasp. So, the talker states that hatred can besides destruct the universe.

I believe fire and ice, and desire and hatred were foremost brought up as antonyms. When one thinks of fire, one thinks heat. When one is hot, they would wish to imbibe something cool. When one thinks of ice they think of cold. When one is cold they want to sit by a fire and warm up. Desire is the privation to hold or make something while hatred is desiring to destruct it. I have answered my first inquiry about how fire, ice, hatred and desire are associated. I can get down to see that my reply to the 2nd inquiry ( what is the deeper message in this verse form? ) is acquiring closer.

Frost begins to confound me with line 5, & # 8220 ; But if it had to die twice, & # 8221 ; as nil can decease twice. This paradox leads me to believe that there is a larger paradox hidden in this verse form. When the talker negotiations of the devastation that will do the terminal of the planet, they cite two opposite causes, fire and ice. This leads to the larger ( and more of import ) paradox where the writer is connoting that ice and fire, and the speaker-associated emotions of desire and hatred are truly the same thing. Fire and ice are the same, as are desire and hatred.

While at first, this may look impossible ( as is the nature of paradoxes ) , I looked at the context of which the writer speaks of fire and ice, and desire and hatred. When the individual discusses fire and ice, and desire and hatred, they do it in the context of the terminal of the universe. Both the fire and the ice, and desire and hatred can finally stop up destructing the universe. The writer is seeking state that because both of these braces of antonyms can convey approximately destructive force, they are truly the same. I have now answered all my inquiries, and can get down reflecting on the verse form.

Something that I found interesting was Frost & # 8217 ; s usage of the word & # 8220 ; suffice & # 8221 ; in line 9. This is where Frost states that fire and ice ( and their associated emotions ) are every bit unsafe. Yet there is an sarcasm in this. When one thinks of fire, they see a bright, smoky, dramatic event. Whereas ice is merely apparent old ice. While the two are same, they are besides inherently different. Fire goes through the brassy procedure of combustion, where ice is merely frozen. But they still result in the same thing. That is the sarcasm.

I can do one chief premise about Frost & # 8217 ; s values. He believes that anything in the extreme, such as hatred or desire can be in really unsafe, potentially doing the terminal of the planet. I tend to hold, as authoritiess bent on either hatred of others or the desire for power have, in our history caused great hurting and agony. One reflecting illustration of this is Adolf Hitler & # 8217 ; s hatred of people who were different. This cold hatred lead to a great war and Holocaust in which many people suffered and died.

Though this verse form was written over 70 old ages ago, it carries an ageless message and a paradox. Any emotion taken to the extreme is unsafe, and opposites become the same ( destructive ) at an utmost province. We must all be careful non to detest or want something so much that it becomes an compulsion, for a Holocaust lies in all of us.