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Analysis and comments on The Lockless Door by Robert Frost

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Comment 65 of 895, added on April 3rd, 2006 at 7:19 PM.

i think that the person in the poem was a child who was hiding in his room.
the person knocking on the door may have been a parent looking for him, and
he was frightened because he thought his parents might punish him. when he
jumped out the window, he was waiting to decide whether he should run away
or not, and he may have run away depending on whether his parents were
angry at him. in conclusion, i disenjoyed this poem immensly.

richie rich from Chile
Comment 64 of 895, added on April 3rd, 2006 at 7:20 PM.

In response to Luke's comment, we think its agreeable.
However, it is lacking passion in his post.

team.random from Mongolia
Comment 63 of 895, added on April 3rd, 2006 at 7:12 PM.

In reply to Oprah Chalk-Hatten, are you related to Oprah Winfrey?
So totally OMG, this poem is so totally...totally. LOL!
I absolutely agree with your interpretation of the poem. I believe the poem
explains the metaphorical surrounding of a persons mind...bell went...too

Giang Cao from Uruguay
Comment 62 of 895, added on April 3rd, 2006 at 7:14 PM.

Jinn, you honestly do not know what you are talking about. It is as if you
were asked to write an essay in some English class. It was not necessary to
write so much about one poem. You need to learn to be more concise. Maybe
you are not too good at expressing yourself, hence needing to write a
thesis on a poem 5 stanzas long.

Anyway, more onto your content. In your first paragraph, you speak of the
way the lockless door is something of the past. You write "“And I thought
of the door”. This line can be interpreted as this lockless door was
something of the past." Clearly the line before it "It went many years"
shows this and you don’t need to be so metaphorical and deep. It is
obviously stated, you dont need to think so hard about it.

The one positive thing about your thesis is the part about the way you put
a tense on the third and fourth stanzas and state that the last stanza is a
conclusion. Most people in this forum agree that the last stanza is
probably the hardest to interpret but stating it as a conclusion makes it a
little easier.

However, alot of the language in this response is quite jumbled and hard to
understand. Sometimes you use the word "metaphor" too easily, such as in
the paragraph about the fourth stanza, where it is written "metaphorically"
where no metaphor is actually stated in the stanza at all. Content wise,
the entire thesis could have been shortened to around 300 words and been
just as effective.

Finally, to the good parts of this response. It is obvious that Jinn has
put a large amount of effort into this response and has included great
detail on his own opinions, some of which I agree with fully. For example,
the paragraph on the fourth stanza; when Jinn states “Back over the sill”;
if taken literally we assume that he gets back over the window, he then
greets the knocker but then says he doesn’t’ know what was at the door”,
which I believe similarly; i.e. that the thing at the door was unknown, and
it was this unknown that he feared. Generally the content is quite
meaningful, and expresses Jinn's opinions however confusing they may be

Overall Jinn’s efforts were definitely there, however the clarity is not,
thus an average grade could only be given to this piece. Good try, better
luck next time.

Chalky and Visa from Australia
Comment 61 of 895, added on April 3rd, 2006 at 7:14 PM.

Arjun's comment is well structured and mighty awesome. He anaylses the poem
to great length and really finds the meaning of the poem. This is done by
systematically analysing each stanza. Furthermore, he is able to link a
similar meaning from each stanza that works towards the idea of someone who
is living a life of guilt, and remorse, after years of hiding or running
away from it. Best of all, he gives his own personal opinion in his last
paragraph. This gives an insightful view to one other than mine and James'.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Arjun V.'s comment from Australia. What a
coincidence, we're from Australia too.

Marcus and James from Australia
Comment 60 of 895, added on April 3rd, 2006 at 8:37 AM.

This poem can be interpreted in many ways, i choose the one of depression.
It is quite obvious in this poem that the author is subjected to fear and
uncertainty, perhaps its death? we dont know. "And i thought of a door,
with no lock to lock" this shows that there is a oppotunity present,
although he chooses neither to go through it, or enclose it. "i blew the
light, i tip toed the floor" this shows the author is taking caution in
what he is doing, perhaps its fear of someone or something. " i emptied my
cage" this could symbolise his exiting from his enclosure. This may be when
he decides to face reality, but im my opinion i do not think so, i think
that he leaves one enclosure for another. One much more deep and secrative,
the author has not illustrated any evidence that he has decided to return
to the outter world. I think this poem is a reflection of Frost's life,
perhaps its him in the present or past, perhaps he lost a family member and
it inspired him to write this poem. There are endless possiblities as this
is poetry there is no single correct reply for its analysis.

Philip M. from Australia
Comment 59 of 895, added on April 3rd, 2006 at 6:23 AM.

“The Lockless Door” by Robert Frost paints a picture of a man trapped
within the confines of his own mind; represented by a room with a door that
has no lock, hiding from an unnamed terror.

The poem begins after “many years” have passed, perhaps after the important
experience on which the poem hinges. The speaker hears a knock which
reminds him “of the door/ With no lock to lock”. If the door is his mind or
conscience then what is this terror seeking entry? Whatever it is strikes a
great fear into the speaker who continues; “I blew out the light, / I
tiptoed the floor, / And raised both hands in prayer to the door”. The
extinguishing of the light and the tiptoeing to the door establish a tone
of dread and secrecy; the speaker would give anything not to have to face
the terror behind the door so he retreats further behind darkness and
silence. The prayer is a desperate entreaty to a higher power for the
terror to go away.

The gap between the first and second stanza give the briefest of pauses in
which we are left to wonder whether the speaker has been successful. “But
the knock came again” to confirm his worst fears and the speaker is forced
to assume another hiding position from beneath his windowsill. It is
interesting that the speaker doesn’t flee outright then but instead bids
the nameless thing “come in”. Despite his fears the speaker does not yet
have more than an idea what the thing might be and perhaps it is curiosity
which explains this “come in”.

The last stanza is the most important and the most open to interpretation.
“So at a knock I emptied my cage” could mean that the speaker has either
confronted his fears with his invitation for the thing enter in the last
stanza or perhaps that he has abandoned his confinement. He resolves “to
hide in the world / And alter with age” meaning perhaps that he stops
living in fear of the thing at his door and gets back to his life.

Nick Ross from Saint Vincent and the Grenadin
Comment 58 of 895, added on April 3rd, 2006 at 5:05 AM.

Luke’s poem analysis is correct in highlighting that Frost’s poem can and
does have multiple interpretations. However, it seems that the response
from Luke is lacking detail or emphasis on any particular aspect of the
poem. Unfortunately, I disagree with the idea that the figure in the first
stanza was hiding, instead it seems that the figure was simply waiting. If
the figure was hiding, it would seem that hiding behind a lockless door is
not the most ideal place to hide. I agree with Luke on his insight into
the second and third stanza, however, again the insight is too broad.
Such a broad insight and analysis really doesn’t offer the understanding
that could be shown if Luke perhaps mentioned the significance of praying
to the door and perhaps these were prayers to God. I disagree with Luke’s
analysis of the fourth stanza. Initially it is difficult to even
understand exactly what Luke means when he describes the fourth stanza.
The poem does not clearly show that the subject understand “who” the knock
is from, where as Luke suggests the subject “knows who it is”. Using the
term “whatever” clearly dissociates the “knock” as potentially being
anything. Overall Luke offers a broad prospective of the poem, to offer
only an overview of what the poem may be about. Overall though, it is
ineffective as being an analysis.

donguyen from Australia
Comment 57 of 895, added on April 2nd, 2006 at 9:40 PM.

This comment in my opinion is quite meaningful, and very understandable,
however, there are some narrow thoughts made by Luke which I would like to
help clear up.
Firstly, He states the figure had hid for many, before something came
knocking. How do you know that he actually hid or was actually waiting for
someone to come to knock on that door?
In the second, you state that he is hoping this thing will go away, but how
do you know that Frost is really wanting this thing to go away, maybe he is
simply too afraid to face it? Have you ever considered that?
In the third, where you say he is escaping out of the window, trying to run
away from. How do you support that he is actually escaping? And out of a
window? You think of it too literally, and perhaps you have not considered
the metaphorical meanings in these words. Is he running from someone? I
think not. He could possibly be running away form himself. His own fears
and thoughts.
You say he makes it to the ground.... it doesn't say he makes it to any
ground, it merely states that he descends outside, there are many things to
In the final stanza you can not be exactly sure that he has run out into
the world to hide and change. He may be simply living life without the
entity of the knock bothering him.

Danny and Jinn from Australia
Comment 56 of 895, added on April 2nd, 2006 at 9:38 PM.

In response to Lukes (Australia) comment on the Lockless door, I agree to
his comments.

I do believe this is a powerful poem. In fact I find it quite personal, as
if we can relate the poem's true meaning into our lives. Such as the
decision whether to confront to who or what is knocking at our own lockless
I also agree that you can interpret the poem in a different way each time
you read it, because the poet becomes quite ambiguous as you read on in the
poem, thus allowing your imagination to fill in the double meanings.
Although many of the comments that Luke has made, I do not entirely agree
with the last lines of his comment. I do not think that the thing knocking
at the door is literally a person but rather the person is trying to run
away from something of which he fears in his life. In my opinion, although
there are many interpretations of this poem, the person is possibly running
away from himself, because he may have some personal guilt or problems with
his own conscience about something that happened some years ago. As it is
his conscience, the cage in which he tries to hide in cannot hide him
because he is trying to hide from himself.

Willhen from Australia

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Information about The Lockless Door

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 44. The Lockless Door
Volume: New Hampshire
Year: 1923
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 34029 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 24 2002

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