JoshuaWilks: January 2009 Archives

Life and Apples

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The lines that I really would like to talk about are lines 2,3, and 6-8.
I feel these lines hold a lot of meaning when you take the poem as a metaphor for life. As with most Frost poems we see the clear link to nature and we see his love for it. I am seeing these five lines as introducing us to the fact that this poem is not actually about apples but about living life and his death instead. 

line 2 Toward Heaven still,
This could be a reference toward death.

line 3 And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
This could mean something to the effect that he didn't get a chance to do everything he wanted to do in life.

line 6 But I am done with apple picking now
Another reference to death -  he is done living now

line 7 Essence of winter sleep is on this night,
sleep is another of a reference to death and the fact that it is winter sleep i think implies this rest as a long one, as the darkness tends to last longer during the winter months.

line 8 The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
Again we see yet another reference to sleep or eternal sleep. This combined with the scent of apples, which might be things that he did in his life. It implies that he is remembering his life before he dies.

While this may seem rather negative, what with it being about death, but I find that it is more reflective than sullen or downtrodden. He knows that his time is done and as the poem progresses he reflects on some of the important aspects of his life (metaphorically). 

Real Life VS Literature

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I know that we are not supposed to get a quote from page 2 but I couldn't help it because it really jumped out at me, and a part of me just wanted to not follow the directions, you know, stick it to the man?

"In other words a quest just happened."
I understand the author's point that it was a quest even if it was a stretch. (I feel it was a pretty big one!) but I really do not think that everything is meant to be construed as something so "epic." I know I read all of the points that make this out to be such a big deal but If my mother sent me to the store and I called it a quest I think others would think of me a little bit differently. If I were relating my story to someone else I would hardly choose to explain it by such epic means and I would certainly not want them to think of it on such epic terms. After all "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" and a story about going to the store is just an event that happened in someone's day.
I think that in literature it might be easier to think of things on such epic terms but the author might just as well as had something else in mind. By calling any kind of journey an epic quest I feel that we are oversimplifying things.

A lot of Testosterone.

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I found the description of Tom Buchanan particularly humorous. It really reminded me of the "stereotypical manly man" that is commonly the punch-line of  jokes. The quote "'Now, don't think my opinion on these matters is final,' he seemed to say 'just because I am stronger and more of a man than your are.'" sums this up quite well. When coupled with Nick's earlier account of him does a good job of painting a picture of this character. 

Not only is this line good at describing this new character but it also does a good job showing what kind of person Nick is. He can understand what kind of people the other characters are and I think that this distinction is probably important for the plot of the story.

Rich With Gold?

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I chose to write about Nothing Gold Can Stay because I enjoyed it overall as a poem. Typically Im not a poem kind of person, as I am sure many people would say, but I think this poem is short, sweet, and meaningful.

Im not especially good at symbolism but I can say what I felt the poem was about, and I think that might be just as important as what Frost meant. I felt like the poem was focusing on how delicate the everything really is. From all of his poems it is quite easy to construe that Frost enjoys the outdoors but he also understands how fragile it can be. After all, a little over  200 years ago most of North America was pretty much wilderness and now we have cities everywhere. In line 6 I really feel that he is referencing a "man destroying nature" kind of view when he says that Eden sank to grief. this is the line that I think really made the poem, it is kind of the central line that jumped off the page at me. He is kind of saying that nothing lasts forever but it can be enjoyed why it is here.

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