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Analysis and comments on Reluctance by Robert Frost

[1] 2

Comment 13 of 13, added on December 21st, 2014 at 4:50 PM.

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Comment 12 of 13, added on December 21st, 2014 at 12:32 PM.

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Comment 11 of 13, added on February 10th, 2012 at 12:34 PM.

Happy shab-e-yalda (winter soistlce night) everyone!Many fond memories of
the family gathering around a Korsi(oh, just look it up) and drinking chai
and eating gaz, sohaan, zolbia, and bamieh.

Carroll from Austria
Comment 10 of 13, added on March 12th, 2010 at 1:16 PM.
lost of a love

i loved the poem

srhtr from United States
Comment 9 of 13, added on October 11th, 2009 at 10:09 PM.

For me, the power of this poem lies in this: Almost the whole poem is spent
painting a vivid picture, creating an atmosphere of splendid seasonal
melancholy. Only in the very last line does Frost twist the focus and
thrust that feeling into the reader's heart like a knife.

Fran Sunderland from United States
Comment 8 of 13, added on March 5th, 2009 at 12:57 AM.

"Reluctance" speaks to the fact that everything will end, and in implies
that endings in and of themselves should not be viewed in the pejorative as
a rule. All change necessitates the premise that something has ended, yet
here the title of the poem thrusts the concept of "reluctance" out of the
void as it not mentioned within the body of the work. Frost argues that
reluctance is the integral factor determining success or failure in the
endeavor at hand. When stating, "I have walked..." he relays the concept of
a journey which is now surely complete. Going further, dipping his brush in
his favorite color from the palette, Frost invokes nature, reflecting man's
reluctance to change in the paradoxically warm and cold picture of leaves,
long since autumn, falling at last and blowing across the surface of the
snow. Free will arises as the journey of the man ends, but his feet
question "wither" or where to go. Often the case with Frost, here again he
creates a labyrinth within a few short verses which ultimately leaves the
reader with a compelling paradoxical reality. Reluctance may prolong the
ending of an endeavor only to bring ill effects. Reluctance may induce the
ending of an endeavor only to bring effects. Misery itself lies within the
creature at home in this poem. He or she faces the end of something
integral to his or her self. Concurrently, no replacement for this void is
known, and he or she rightfully fears rebuke from society, as Frost calls
it, endings being seen as "treason". The reluctant traveler in this work
teaches us that change is not the enemy. Reluctance to change in equal
measure with reluctance not to change leads to death.

Dennis Sayles from United States
Comment 7 of 13, added on January 1st, 2009 at 12:46 AM.

A spiritual perspective: Man was created to be an eternal being, able to
eat freely from the Tree of Life. Relationships were supposed to last
forever. After the Fall from grace, everything became temporary. Yes, it
feels like treason, like a betrayal when things die. It was not supposed
to be so. Everything in us rages against the dying of the light.

P Curtiss from United States
Comment 6 of 13, added on November 5th, 2008 at 4:27 PM.

Does anyone else see the paradox? If we are inevitable to some things like
loss of love or even death, that means that we have no control over it. So
that makes us as people less powerful. But, living life after that and not
giving up in order to find meaning in turn makes us more powerful. I think
Frost uses this in a lot of his work. Just a twisted way to think about

Julián from Mexico
Comment 5 of 13, added on February 6th, 2006 at 2:24 PM.

Reluctance of the homebound speaker to end a journey finds reinforcement
in that of the noble oak to relinquish leaves. A solitary heart in each
denies its losses of love and seasons, suggesting the two are so similar,
but triteness says so in only lesser poetry than this. The spirit is
willing, or the heart is, to resist both the drift of things and yielding
to reason, but the feet betray the weakness of flesh, and demand

John MacRae Fox from United States
Comment 4 of 13, added on January 11th, 2006 at 7:08 PM.

The wonderous heart had seen and felt a lot while try to find the meaning
in the void that was left after the disappearance of love.
The world chosen by the author lead the reader to think that something is
wrong and everything hurts .It is love…seen at its sunset descends and ”is
”And looked at the world, and descended;/i have come by the highway home
/And Io it is ended”.
The choice of the season is not left to chance ,seems the imagery comes to
the thoughts of the author through very vivid images :”The leaves are all
dead on the ground”,”over the crusted snow”,”scraping and creeping”,”and
the dead leaves lie huddled and still,/no longer blown hither and
The snow ,even though is suggesting purity and maybe a new beginning, is
crusted which means that everything is frozen starting with nature and
ending with the flame of love :”the last aster is gone/ the flowers of
the witch-hazel wither”.
The pain suffered due to this twilight(”the heart is still aching to
seek”)is emphasize by the fact that there seems to be no purpose left ,no
tomorrow,no shores to be looking for(”but the feet question’Whither’ ”).
It seems that with this loss there comes lack of purpose and desire to
fiind a meaningful answer to all this.
The poem ends with a rethorical question which comprises a general truth
not yet found .It is a question addressed to the Gods or maybe to the human
nature which is so mysterious and difficult to comprehend .
This last question can be a cry for an answer that will never come , but
will hunt the mind of the man/person who finds it difficult to yield in
front of reality because the heart of that person will see this acceptance
of defeat as a treason
even though she cannot change irreversible facts.
The message is a simple one which states that no matter
the time or the place this state of facts will always be the same ,because
man can never bow in front of the evidence and accept that which faith or
the Gods has chosen for him.
He will always question them and look for an answer and fight against all
odds to succeed in preserving this feeling of love that makes him happy.
So season may come and go and so may love but the heart of man will always
consider it a treason”to bow and accept the end of a love or a season”.
It is human hubris that will make man fight and never accept the evidence
of facts that everything is mortal and passing in this world and that you
can never preserve ,that which is ephemeral but in the same time so
beautiful(last stanza*)... The whole poem is an
environmental metaphor since the loss of love is compared with the end of
autumn and the choice of epiteths helps the author creat a vivd imagery of
loss ,lament and grief.
Yet the end leaves place for hope because it is the question nature of man
that keeps him going.

Faurar Magda from Romania

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Information about Reluctance

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 30. Reluctance
Volume: A Boy's Will
Year: 1913
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 2135 times
Poem of the Day: Nov 25 2002

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