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Literary Genre in The Great Gatsby, All My Sons and I'm Not Scared for Leaving Cert Comparative #625Lab

"Authors can use various techniques to make settings real and engaging." #625Lab
The author took on the challenging literary genre question - and did so quite well! 
I have studied the novel 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the play 'All my Sons' written by Arthur Miller, and the film 'I'm Not Scared' directed by Gabriele Salvatores. From studying these texts, it is obvious that the authors employ many literary and camera techniques to make their works real and engaging.

You may also like: Complete Guide to Leaving Cert English (€)

The tool of narration is very powerful in making a story come to life and it is one that is used well in all three texts. 'The Great Gatsby' has the first-person narrator, Nick Carraway. He is an observer of the world but also a participant in it. We see everything as filtered through his account, and so this gives rise to the question of whether we can trust him or not. The use of a first-person narrat…

Leaving Cert Robert Frost Sample Essays #625Lab

“Frost communicates rich insights into human experience using language that is both accessible and appealing.”

Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to the poetry of Robert Frost on your course. (2015)

This is an essay from a current Leaving Cert student. It's published under our #625Lab section that reviews the strengths and weaknesses of students' essays with comments and corrections.


Here is a H1 essay on Robert Frost if you need one.

You may also like:

This essay has some great parts, but it will require significant improvement before it could reach a high grade.

Throughout my study of Robert Frost, I have found that he communicates rich insights into human experience using language that is both accessible and appealing. (If you don't have any ideas on how to start writing an essay, it's a reasonable thing to do to just restate the question and broadly agree with it.) Frost explores various different themes throughout his poetry that deals with experiences that we all encounter throughout our lifetime. (Don't use synonymous adjectives.) He does this using language that is easy to understand and universally appealing to all readers who can all connect with the poet's insights. (Throughout the essay, the author leaves out apostrophes to indicate belonging, e.g. the insights belong to the poet. I've put them in. If you find apostrophes difficult, just remember that the possessive of a singular noun is formed by adding an apostrophe and s: for example, Emma's essay, dad's TV, etc. If you learn this one rule, that's half the battle with apostrophes.) The themes of isolation, loss of friendship and community are some of the key themes found evidentally and vividly throughout all of Frost's poetry. (This is the only sentence of real substance in this introduction.) His poems "Mending Wall", "Tuft of Flowers", and "Out, Out" all deal with some of these themes to an extendt using easy to understand vocabulary. (For a H1 introduction to the same title, have a look here.)

Frost communicates rich insights into human experience
Image credit: Sarah
The poem "Out, Out" describes an accident in a workplace which proved fatal and cost a child his life. (Avoid doubling up with synonyms.) The poet speaks about a boy who was merely a child but "doing a man's work" and using a buzz saw in Vermont. He was happily going about his day, cutting wood, in order to support himself and his family when his sister calls him for "supper". At that very moment the boy loses concentration and lacerated his hand off the saw. (To lacerate off is an odd turn of phrase, and the word lacerate seems a bit out of place in this essay. Avoid using unfamiliar words.) The child began to panic as held up his hand "Half in appeal, but half as if to keep the life from spilling". Eventually the boy's heartbeat faded to"little-less-nothing", and the child passed away. Frost uses this poem to give a rich insight into loss and community. Throughout our existence, we will all experience some loss and grief. Although the loss of the boy was painful to accept, the community could not stop and had to continue moving on, as difficult as it may seem. Frost's use of language made it easier accessible to understand. (Don't feel compelled to use the word from the title if it doesn't fit.) In the very first line, he portrays the buzz saw as a living breathing animal using onomatopoeia by using the words "snarled" and "rattled". (Excellent.) We feel the sad tone of the line"little-less-nothing" as the poet describes the boy's last heartbeat as it slowly disappears. Frost's ability to draw on the reader's emotions allows them to connect to his poetry on a deeper level. (This would have been a good place to mention a key term from the title.)

The poem "Mending Wall" describes the annual event when two neighbours come together to mend the wall that separates their land. Every year the wall gets damaged by unknown sources. The speaker thinks it could be the "work of hunters" but is unsure. When the two men come to repair the wall, neither of them ever crosses onto the other side of the wall. The poet (speaker?) doesn't want to have a wall between him and his neighbours. If there were cows between them, then a wall would make sense, he thinks, but the neighbour insists "good fences make good neighbours". This symbolises a sense of community as both men come together to achieve a common goal. However as it shows the positive side of community, it also shows a dark side. The neighbour wants boundaries between the two, while the speaker wants to be more open. The feeling is not mutual, causing the speaker to feel isolated. These insights are achieved using simple language. The repetition of the phrase "good fences make good neighbours" makes it easy to remember, causing us to understand the meaning of the poem. The poet is trying to specify that even though community work is important in human experience, we all face disagreements, like the different opinion of the men over the wall, but we must learn to overcome these problems for the good of the community. (This paragraph definitely requires more quotations.)

Robert Frost for Leaving Cert
Image credit: Sarah
Finally, the poem "The Tuft of Flowers" deals with the issues of isolation and community. The poem begins with the speaker coming "to turn the grass" in a field. The speaker begins to feel anxious as he is unable to find the mower. He searched for him "behind an isle of trees" and "listened for the whetstone on the breeze". At this very moment he begins to feel "as he had been - alone". He notices that the mower had been in the field earlier as the grass was "all mown already". The speaker becomes distracted by a "bewildered" butterfly. (These last few sentences are retelling the story without any comment, which is not ideal.) The speaker follows the butterfly as it flies "round and round" and leads him to notice a patch of flowers, the mower had left standing. The mower left the flowers alone as he wanted them "to flourish" and they brought him happiness. The speaker loses all sense of loneliness and feels a connection with the mower, describing him as a "kindred spirit". Even though men did their respective tasks at various times, it still feels like they co-operated to achieve a common goal, symbolising community. Frost's comprehensive and easy to understand language (comprehensive might sound like it means easy to comprehend, but it actually means complete. Again, avoid unfamiliar words, they always do more harm than good.) is able to convey his views of life even though the poem needs to be interpreted beyond the surface level of the subject matter in order to fully understand and appreciate it. Everyone of us can relate to the speaker at the start of the poem. We all can feel trapped and isolated at different times and feel totally alone. However, the main point is that, as humans, we are never truly alone and are all part of a community that helps us feel happiness and friendship.

Frost's brilliant use of language helps us to relate to all his views into human life relating to the human experience, whether it be the ability to carry on after a huge loss like in "Out, Out", the importance of community in "Mending Wall" or the realisation that we are never truly alone and there is always light at the end of the tunnel in "The Tuft of Flowers". Frost's passion and enthusiasm is conveyed through his use of accessible language. This is why I agree with the above statement that Frost communicates rich insights into human experiences using language that is both accessible and appealing.

Leaving Cert English is marked using PCLM

Clarity of Purpose:

- The author definitely tried to engage with the question. He only used 3 poems to back up his argument. I think he could have done with more: he has a good word count, but it seems a little watery and repetitive in places.

This is what the marking scheme rewards:

- explores the human condition (tick, the author spoke about community, feeling alone, etc) 
- possibilities/inevitabilities/tragedies/simple pleasures (somewhat addressed)
- accessibility of colloquial language/conversational tone/aphorisms/narrative approach (only a little bit) 
- engaging/evocative imagery/rich symbolism/sensuous detail all add appeal (somewhat)
- profound ideas – transience, fellowship, alienation (a bit)
expressed in a homely/rural style (tick) 
- elegant plainness of expression/natural speech rhythms have universal significance (tick)

Coherence of Delivery

- A simple poem by poem structure, which is fine. However, there are no real transitions and not enough in the introduction and conclusion that would pull the essay together.

Efficiency of Language Use

- Aside from the unfamiliar words, it's pretty good. The limiting factor in this is Clarity of Purpose, so good language doesn't help a huge amount in salvaging the essay.

Accuracy of Mechanics

It's all been tidied up here, but remember that this counts for 10%!


"Robert Frost is a poet of sadness."

Write an introduction to the poetry of Frost using the above statement.

Showing inspiring perseverance, the author sent in another essay on Robert Frost two weeks after his first submission. It's much, much better, and my nitpicking is over much less important issues.

Throughout my study of Robert Frost's poetry, I have felt? that although some of his work contains joyful and happy aspects, his poetry is mainly tinged with sadness. The emotion of sadness is conveyed by Frost in various scenarios, some of which are very relatable, helping the audience to connect with Frost on a deeper level. These elements of despair are portrayed in his poems "Out, Out", "Provide, Provide", "Acquainted with the Night" and "Mending Wall". (Nice, non-specific introduction. The author also asked "how long should an introductory paragraph be? I know it should be longer than what I wrote, but what would you recommend? Half an A4 page or a full A4 page?" Answer: Half an A4 page tops. His intro to this essay is perfectly OK. It's short and doesn't give us any idea of what structure he is going to use. In this case it's ok because the author uses a self-explanatory poem-by-poem structure. The apostrophes are still an issue, so I put them in and underlined them.)

"Out, Out" is set "under the sunset far into Vermont" where a boy is using a buzz saw in a factory. The boy was going about his work as the saw "snarled and rattled" as if it was a wild animal ready to prey. His sister comes to inform him "supper" was ready. At that very moment, the boy loses concentration and his hand is caught and severely injured by the machine. (The author's use of quotation is very good, but he is retelling the story without any comment. This isn't going to get many marks.) The boy's childish nature shines through briefly (the word "childish" only really makes sense when applied to an adult, so it's better to say that the fact the victim was merely a child is highlighted through the poet's description of his cry as a "rueful laugh") as his first reaction was a "rueful laugh", but since "he was old enough to know" what had happened, his reaction soon changed. The boy soon begins to panic as he realised the seriousness of the accident. He held up his hand "half in appeal but half as if to keep the life from spilling". In truth, the boy should never been allowed to work with such a dangerous machine. He was a "big boy doing a man's work, though a child at heart". By working at such a young age, the boy never truly has a chance to experience a proper childhood, a right every child deserves. This thought gives the poem a depressed tone and has a negative effect? on the audience. However, this is a reality for so many children in the world and Frost is trying to convey this fact. The poem ends on a harrowing note as the boy's heartbeat disappears from "little-less-nothing" showing the fragile state of human life (Very nice! This last stretch addresses the question directly and digs deep into the poem.). The poem's ending made me frustrated as the poem concludes with the line "And they, since they were not the ones dead, turned to their affairs". It shows that the other factory workers and the boy's family hadn't time to mourn and had to? to continue with their lives to support themselves and their families. As frustrating as it is, Frost symbolises the meaning of transience perfectly: no matter what difficulties may arise, life must go on (Some grammatical nitpicking here. Frost doesn't symbolise transience, he's a man and doesn't symbolise anything - except perhaps a particularly good age of American poetry. The Statue of Liberty symbolises freedom, the wall in "Mending Wall" symbolises all kind of barriers and segregation. You can say that a poet uses x to symbolise y. Also, the phrase at the start of the sentence implies that it is Frost that is frustrating, not the comment. A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject. What you could say instead is: As frustrating as it is, this closing remark is used by the poet to masterfully explore the concept of transience...)

The poem "Provide, Provide" tells the story of a once famous woman who is no longer held in high regard. The poet describes the woman as a "witch" and a "withering hag" suggesting she has a terrible personality and no longer the beauty she once was."The picture pride of Hollywood" suggests she was once one of the best known, respected and beautiful celebrities in the world. Nowadays she washes "steps with pail and rag" in order to make ends meet. The poet wants to stress his point that if you're destined to live a long life, make sure you live a successful and respectable one. The poet states "too many fall from great and good". The poet is trying to illustrate that no matter how long you spend at the top, everything comes down eventually. It shows that nothing lasts forever and we have to respect that and prepare for that. In every aspect of human life, success only lasts briefly, before we must carry on with our life as normal. It is a sad reality that life cannot continue smoothly throughout our existence and we all must suffer setbacks in life. (Very engaged with the question, clarity of purpose on steroids! The only thing is that there is a long stretch without quotations. Something about the "end... being hard" would have been suitable.) I find this poem interesting and relatable as everyone must experience these drawbacks and it highlights Frosts ability to convey his observations of human life nature in an unique and interesting way. However, it is tinged as sadness as the fact that nothing lasts forever is harrowing and haunting. (There's not need to restate a well-made point.)

In "Acquainted with the night", the poet describes his habit of walking the city streets at night. He seems to know every detail about the streets as he is so accustomed to them. The city at night is depicted as a menacing and melancholic environment. The poet states he has "outwalked the furthest city light" meaning he has gone passed past the safety of the city light into the darkness. This adds a sinister tone to the poem. The poet is entirely isolated as he wanders through the depressing, dark city. However, even when he comes into contact with other human beings, he is unable to communicate with them. This is evident when he passed the watchman "and dropped" his eyes to avoid interaction. This poem is a metaphor for depression as it is difficult for sufferers to communicate and connect meaningfully with other people. (Nice interpretation given the question!) It is a truly sad poem and has a powerful impact on me as there are millions of people who feel trapped by depression and feel they cannot talk about their problems and difficulties. It is our responsibilty as fellow human beings to treat these people with kindness and show them that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. (The author seems to have fallen into the pattern of retelling the main events of the poem at the start, with quotation, and then interpreting them in light of the question with less quotation. It's better avoid retelling what happened in the poem for it's own sake and to quote just as much when you're interpreting the poem.)

Finally, "Mending Wall" describes the annual event when two neighbours come together to mend the wall that separates their land. Every year the wall get damaged by unknown sources. The speaker thinks it could be the "work of hunters" but is unsure. When the two men come to repair the wall, none of them ever cross onto the other side of the wall. The speaker doesn't want to have a barrier between them. However, his neighbour believes it is a good idea and frequently says "Good fences make good neighbours". He believes that neighbours should co-operate together to achieve a common goal but should keep their personal life private and confidential. The speaker disagrees, and feels isolated as a result. I believe Frost is trying to portray that no matter how strong you feel about something, the feeling is not always mutual. (Unusual and interesting interpretation - one that fits in excellently with the question. To a reader/examiner, this shows that the student has really engaged with the poem and isn't just regurgitating obvious points.) There is a sadness about your strong views or feelings not being reciprocated, but we must learn to move on from these setbacks. 

Sadness can be experienced throughout Robert Frost's poetry. His use of sadness adds to his popularity, and it is an emotion that everyone at some stage can encounter and feel, making his themes relatable and understandable. Whether it be is through the trauma of death in "Out, Out", the fall from grace and glory in "Provide, Provide", the difficulties associated with mental health in "Acquainted with the Night" or the feeling of isolation and division in "Mending Wall", Frost exhibits the emotion in various ways. (This sentence is pure H1 essence: it is clear, it saliently communicates everything the author spoke about in the essay, it's specifically relating to named poems and it addresses the question head on.) This is why I believe Frost is a poet of sadness. (Huge "Well done" to the author!)

“Frost communicates rich insights into human experience using language that is both accessible and appealing.”

Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to the poetry of Robert Frost on your course. (2015)


Here is another rendition of the same title. The word count: 2800. I have no idea how the author plans to write that much on the day. How much should she write? Check here. This author is knowledgeable, but she may still end up doing poorly in her exam. Why? Because her sentences are too long, she repeats herself and she sometimes uses words that don't fit. This is required reading for anyone who suffers from these problems.


“I looked for him behind an isle of trees and listened for his whetstone on the breeze”, states Robert Frost in “The tuft of flowers”. In this simple clear cut and intriguing manner we get an insight in to the language that Frost portrays in many of his poems. (Frost does not portray a language. It's possible to portray an image. Can you imagine what the portrait of a language would look like? Me neither.) We understand that Frost’s poetry is both very assessable and appealing from this quotation, but that there are many layers of his poetry that was brilliantly portrayed throughout all of his poems. (Another misuse of the word "portrayed". He didn't portray layers. He portrayed natural imagery, the image of a lonely man cutting grass, etc, but not layers.) Throughout all of Frost’s poetry we can clearly identify the simple techniques used in order to enhance the experience of the reader. Frost uses colloquial language to portray many types of imagery as well as using formal language which leads us straight to the point that I think he is attempting to portray in his poetry. (We are still on the intro and there have been 4 instances of the word "portray", only one of them correct.) This well defined and very assessable language is beyond question a key feature in making Frost’s poetry both appealing and creates a simple deceptive style (deceptively simple, not deceptive. He's not lying to us.) of poetry in which he explores the themes of the human condition, isolation, the meaning of life and childhood. Frost portrays this in an assessable and appealing manner which insures that the message of each poem is precisely given to the reader.  (The author restated the same point in about seven different sentences. This won't gain her marks.)

Firstly we understand that the theme of the human condition plays an important role in many of Frost’s poetry, in my opinion. The human condition explores what is means to be alive and why everything happens in both our lives and those of others. I think Frost explores this theme in order to ensure that we think out simple questions that we may not think about in our ordinary day lives (then are they simple?). This theme is clearly shown in many of Frost’s poems using colloquial language and imagery which allows us to understand the theme of the human condition easily. We are clearly shown the use of colloquial language in Frost’s poem For example, in “Out Out”: when it states “ to please the boy by giving him the half hour that a boy counts so much when saved from work”, this gives us a clear cut and easy accessible example of the colloquial language used by Frost. We see that Frost questions the theme of the human condition here, in which he questions why accidents like this one happen to people and do things really happen for a reason. We also understand that Frost questions the element of Intelligent design in which he tries to understand whether there is someone superior to us that decides what is best and what happens to use. This simple poem about an accident on a farm gives us an appealing insight in to the theme of the human condition. (One quote in this paragraph. It should have had at least one other one of similar length.)

In contrast to this, in some of Frost’s poetry we understand that Frost poses the question that sometimes we are just unlucky in what happens to others and to us in our lives. It is evident that Frost does not give an opinion on each situation he writes about, but he still manages to easily and in a clear cut manner that in turn still leads us to question things in life. We see clearly an example of this in “Design” where Frost expresses “holding up a moth like a white piece of rigid satin cloth”. I think Frost uses a very effective simile here which we obtain easily that gives us an insight in to his message. I understand when Frost uses this colloquial language and imagery that the moth seems to be camouflaged by the leaf as they are the same colour and this was clearly done on purpose. In turn we also understand that there is a foreshadowing in this poem when Frost expresses “rigid satin cloth” and “on a white heal all” this shows us that the moth is going to die as the rigid satin cloth indicates the satin cloth which is in a coffin and that the plant is white to camouflage the moth when it is usually blue. Frost expresses this thought in a very simple and straight to the point manner that I think gives the reader a clear insight in to Frost’s thoughts. The theme is the human condition is also evident in “The Tuft of Flowers”, Frost expresses “But he had gone his way, the grass all mown and I must be as he had been – alone”, this again gives us a very straightforward insight in to the theme of the human condition. We understand that two men are working in the same area but just keep missing out on each other as they work. This leads us to the idea of the human condition which Frost portrays here in my opinion. It is clear that the worker begins to realise that life might just not work out that way and that maybe missing out on each other is just what life has planned for them. This again gives us a practical insight into the theme of the human condition which Frost uses in a simple and very appealing manner. (So they are unlucky too? The author broke the theme of the human condition into two parts: unforeseen tragedy and that everything happens for a reason. First, it's not really the human condition. It's fate. So it's the theme of fate that the author is really talking about. She doesn't make it clear which is which - where Frost believes it's luck and where it is design.)

Secondly we undoubtably see that Frost explores the theme of isolation in a number of his poems. Frost focuses on the aspect of human isolation but similar to the theme of the human condition he also focuses on the aspect of isolation in relation to nature. I get the impression that this adds to the appeal and simplicity of his poetry in many different ways as he uses metaphors, run-on-lines, similes and many other poetic techniques in other to portray the theme of isolation. We understand this them clearly in “The road not taken” when Frost expresses “Oh I kept the first for another day!” which gives a clear cut indication that the individual in the poem thinks that they can go back on their life changing decision another time if something doesn’t work out as planned. but However, in reality we are on our own at the end of the day when making decision and we are unable to go back to that exact moment and change our decision. Frost also shows us the isolation when making decisions when he states “And be one traveller long I stood”. This indicates very accessibly that when making decisions no matter how much advice we obtain from other people we are the ones that have to make the final decision. (The author is much clearer in this paragraph.)

“Acquainted with the night”, another poem in which Frost explores the theme of isolation in a very simple and appealing manner in which. The imagery portrayed gives us a better insight into the theme of isolation. Frost uses an anaphora throughout this poem with the repetition of the word “I” at the beginning of each line. This makes the poem very personal which is unusual in Frost’s poetry. We see the extent of the isolation felt by the person in the poem when Frost states “I have passed by the watchman on his beat and dropped my eyes unwilling to explain”. This evidently enhances the images in this poem and we clearly can see the extend extent of the isolation felt by the person in the poem as they walk the streets making no eye contact with anyone. Again this is being highlighted when Frost expresses, “I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet”. Frost uses sibilance in this case in order to highlight the isolation. He does this in a very accessible and straight to the point manner throughout this poem. Similarly throughout “The tuft of flowers” we are able to clearly recognise the theme of isolation without any effort as Frost uses both imagery and colloquial language to portray his thoughts. Frost states “ That made me hear the wakening birds around and hear his long scythe whispering to the ground”. It is evident that the man in the poem can feel a metaphorical connection with the other worker even though they have never met. We understand the isolation felt by the worker when Frost states “the mower in the dew had loved them thus, by leaving them to flourish, not for us”. This clearly indicates that the other worker has left a tuft of flowers and has not got rid of them because he loves them, and it is clear that he didn’t think anyone else would see them let alone love them as much as he did even though they have never met. (I don't see how this follows. He left the tuft of flowers there because they were beautiful, that's it really.) I think Frost identifies with the theme of isolation in a very descriptive way with the help of imagery and very effective poetic techniques that are easy to understand and focus on the theme of each poem. 

Thirdly, Frost explores the theme of the meaning of life throughout many of his poems which in tale entail many different situations in which the meaning of life can be explored described in very simple and surprising ways in my opinion. I think the straight to the point techniques like metaphors and similes (metaphors and similes aren't straight to the point, by definition. They are an alternative way of saying something.) contribute to the reading of the poems so that they are easy to understand and relate to. The theme of the human condition clearly becomes apparent throughout the poem “After apple picking”. Frost expresses “ For I have had too much of apple picking of the great harvest I myself desired”, I think this efficiently shows the reader the theme of the poem which is evidently that the poet has had enough of poetry and does not know what the future holds for him now that he has decided he has had enough. Frost uses a very effective hyperbole, “There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch”. This gives us a simple insight in to the thoughts of the poet and the poet looking back at all the poems he has written. He now doesn’t know what the future holds for him. We understand the confusion and regret associated with the theme of the meaning of life when Frost expresses “I got from looking through a pane of glass. I skimmed this morning’s from the drinking trough and held against the world of hoary grass. It melted and I let it fall back." Frost uses a very accessible hysteron proteron that explores the contradiction in that the ice that was frozen cannot melt and then break. (Wow, this is the first time I am seeing hysteron proterons in a Leaving Cert essay! It is a figure of speech in which what naturally would come last is put first, for example "I die! I faint! I fail!" My only problem with it is that accessible hysteron proteron sounds like basic rocket science. The author is trying very hard to address the question, too hard in fact. Not everything Frost says is easy as pie, it's just that most of it is more accessible than let's say Hopkins, Donne, Eliot or Keats and more like Montague, Kavanagh and Bishop. Don't insist that things are accessible when they're not.) In my opinion, this gives us with ease a clear an insight in to the confusion that the poet is now facing as he doesn’t know what is coming next for him. (And that's an excellent interpretation.) Similarly we are met with confusion when faced with the theme of the meaning of life throughout the poem “The Road not Taken”, in which the poet explores the process of decision making. The poet recalls the decisions he had made in his life and whether they were the correct ones or not. Frost expresses “To where it bent in the undergrowth”. This evidently shows us in a very appealing manner in my opinion that we will never be able to know what is around the corner no matter how much we try to look into the future and we will never know our final destination and I think Frost explores this in a simple but effective manner. We also get an indication into the meaning of life when Frost communicates “I took the road less travelled on by and that has made all the difference”, I think it is evident that Frost clearly stands by his decision that he took at the time even though it may not have been the most popular one at the time, it was made him the person he is today. We also see the theme of the meaning of life in the poem “The Tuft of Flowers” when it is clear throughout the poem that the worker is trying to understand the meaning of life and why things happen the way they do. “And thought of questions that have no reply and would have turned to toss the grass to dry”, this precisely explores the theme of the what the meaning of life actually is and that there are many questions in life that simply do not have any answers to them or do not have one simple answer. Similarly in “After apple picking”, Frost expresses “And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill beside it and there many be two or three”. We understand that even with all the poems and books Frost had written he still has regrets and doesn’t understand fully the meaning of life in my opinion. I feel that Frost explores the theme of the meaning of life throughout many of his poem again using simple and appealing imagery and poetic techniques. 

Fourthly and finally, we understand simply that Frost explores the theme of childhood throughout a lot of his poetry which allows us to relate to a lot of his poetry and understand them very easily. Throughout both “ Out, Out-“ and “ The road not taken”, Frost explores the theme of childhood but in completely different situations which I think appeal to readers. “ Out, Out -” explores the situation of a child losing their arm in a farm accident. The poem is composed of very straight to the point and accessible language which I think definitely appeals to a reader. Frost builds up a lot of tension in which we get the feeling that the accident is about to happen but then he expresses “And nothing happened; the day was all but done”. This is a very effective anti-climax in my opinion as it makes the poem much more intriguing and forces you to keep reading in a very simple way. All of the suspense is built up again and is taken away in a very simple manner when Frost states “ little-less-nothing”. This describes the turn of events in three simple yet extremely effective words and they slowly decrease the intensity that has been building up as it describes the moment of death. We also understand that a situation like this can force a child to be brought into adulthood in a matter of seconds when they are very young as they experience the moment they think they may die. This undoubtedly affects them both physically and mentally we see this when Frost expresses, “ Then the boy saw all”. In complete contrast to this, “The Road Not Taken” explores the decision making process that the poet and us all have to face at some point which may be at a very young age like the poet. We see that the poet understand that he has to explore all options because this one decision could affect the rest of his life. “And sorry I could not travel both”, states Frost which shows us that he has now realised that he can only choose one path and cannot live both lives any more. We also see Frost’s more childish side and more adventurous side when he states, “And having perhaps the better, because it was grassy and wanted wear”. This shows us in my opinion that Frost choose the path that was less travelled on because it intrigued him as not as many people had been down that path, this highlights Frost’s childish side in a very appealing manner. This is in complete contrast to “Out Out-“ where we understand very simply that the child is going to be mentally damaged as well as physically as a result of the accident. We experience the innocent of the child when Frost states “since he was old enough to know, big boy doing a man’s work”, this shows us the boy was just doing the job he had been told to do when in fact he was too young to be doing it in the first place. 

In conclusion, I feel that Robert Frost portrays all of these themes in an extremely appealing and accessible manner throughout all of his poetry while using clear cut and straight to the point language in order to portray this. For example “Design” gives use a simple get very effective insight into the human condition and why things are the way they are, through the use of a moth, a spider and a flower. “On a white heal-all” this leads us to the questioning of why the plant is white when it is usually blue and in turn the question enters our mind why it is normally blue. In my opinion this can encourage a number of other questions to enter our mind for example why the sky is blue or how the world was made. “Design” gives us the insight and gets us thinking whether there is a superior being out there decided what happens in life or does evolution explain why everything happens. Frost does this in an extremely clear and precise manner using simple language and an appealing style of writing, in my opinion which summaries the clear-cut and well- defined language yet assessable and appealing style and themes used by Robert Frost throughout his poetry. (A conclusion shouldn't go into so much detail about one poem - and repeat what has already been said almost literally. It should summarise, from a bird's eye view what the essay was about.)

“Frosts simple style is deceptive and a thoughtful reader will see layers of meaning in his poetry” Do you agree with this assessment of his poetry? 

Write a response, supporting your points with the aid of suitable reference to the poems on your course. 

Here is the intro to this essay from one of our readers. It's not very good. Can you find the faults with it yourself? Feel free to comment and I will let you know if you're on track.

From Robert Frost’s poetry I have studied I have noticed that there is a repetition in his style and how he conveys his style through simple conversational language. Frost’s style is easy to comprehend but a thoughtful, diligent reader will easily detect frost’s layers of meaning in his poetry.


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