The Theme of Loneliness, Isolation & Alienation in The Poems of Robert Frost

The theme of loneliness,  isolation & alienation in the poems of Robert Frost.

The theme of loneliness,  isolation & alienation in the poems of Robert Frost.
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loneliness,  Isolation & Alienation

Answer. The theme of isolation or alienation is a recurrent one in Frost's poems. The word "alienation" actually belongs to psychology. It means different things in psychology. But in regard to Frost's poetry the theme of isolation means someone's feeling of being detached from society, from the world, or even from one's own self. The term "isolation" has a close denotation with alienation, but connotatively the words are different. Isolation, properly speaking. means the process of separating or placing apart. In talking about Frost's poems, however, the terms are used almost synonymously.

In Frost poetry we frequently find man isolated or alienated from his immediate environment. Even Nature appears extraneous to man's physical existence. Man is isolated from other men from a sense of fear. Man is isolated in space from the stars and the sky. He is isolated from God, and even from himself, that is, from his own self. Women's isolation or alienation seems harder than men's, According to Frost's vision of life it is man's lot to be alienated from all the other things and beings of the universe, and destined to live alone, live a lonely existence.

The theme of alienation

Man is seen to be alienated from his immediate environment in many of Frost's poems. This alienation is created by the barriers between man and the world of Nature. We find open spaces and deserts and mountains which are not meant for man. He feels alienated from such objects. His spirit sinks at the sights of vast, desolate deserts and barren places, or high, unscalable mountains, Man sometimes feels like challenging the barriers, and sometimes yields to them. If some adventurous spirit challenges them, he is most often defeated.

Man is also alienated from his fellow beings in society, mainly due to fear. "North of Boston" is full of people who are emotionally isolated or lost. "Mending Wall", for example, gives the picture of two men alienated from one another over the question of putting fence in between their lands. In 'The Home Burial" husband and wife are alienated from one another on the question of feeling grief for their dead child.

The theme of Isolation

Another type of isolation in Frost's poems is from space, the stars and the sky. The poem "The Lesson for Today" tells us that contemplation of the great heights of the sky and the stars cowers man into realizing his futile existence and, he is overcome by a terrifying sense of isolation and alienation.

Frost also shows how man is alienated from God. Man's power of reasoning stands as a barrier between God and himself. Because of this power man cannot or does not surrender himself to God, nor can he have faith which might establish sweet relationship with God. Man is also alienated Rosa himself. "Desert places" poignantly indicates that every heart contains a waste land within itself.

Alienation seems harder for women than for men. A woman does not isolate herself from other things if she has love, but if love fails she is doomed to the deepest frustration.

For Frost, isolation stands for man's destiny in the universe. He is born alone, lives a lonely existence, and dies a solitary death Lionel Trilling rightly branded him as a "terrifying poet". His treatment of the theme of isolation is highly poetic, and induces a feeling of utter desolation in the human soul.

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