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Acquainted with the Night Essay

  • Submitted by: svetlanapen
  • on March 23, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 892 words

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Below is an essay on "Acquainted with the Night" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Robert Frost’s poem “Acquainted with the Night” sets a theme of loneliness and depression throughout the poem. The tone of the poem has a a kind of somber and sad quality. Frost, who is also the speaker of the poem, expresses the feeling of solitude, isolation and provides a clear imagery of one being alienated and not knowing where to belong, by presenting a story where the speaker finds acquaintance in the night. These qualities fit with the symbolic meaning of "night” which is a symbol used to suggest darkness of the mind or soul. So, on a deeper level, the speaker is saying that he is acquainted with an internal darkness of some kind. Through images of walking in and out of the rain, the furthest city lights, the dark night and the saddest city lane, readers are able to identify with the speaker, a lonely person who has become acquainted with the night. Nothing can be more powerful in expressing loneliness than the image of a man walking alone in the rain, in the middle of a sad street.
The speaker does not give details of his own experiences and why he has been acquainted with darkness. However, the darkness in this poem evokes many images, such as sorrow, pain, loss and loneliness. Any or all of these could be part of his internal darkness. The speaker says he has looked down the "saddest" city lane (line 4). To say "saddest" is to state the maximum. So, his experience goes beyond just sadness. Looking down the saddest city lane gives a sense of looking directly into the dark depths of sadness. That the speaker has walked "out in rain" and "back in rain" (line 2) says he has probably endured long periods of darkness. Rain emphasizes the dark nights and deepens its meaning. The phrase "out in rain---and back in rain" suggests that he perhaps found it difficult to cope with or to find answers during his darkness. Coming "back in rain" also indicates that during his long walk, or searching, the situation probably did not change, nor did he find answers.

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