Fire and Ice

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The speaker considers the age-old question whether “the world will end in fire” or “in ice” (1-2). states another age-old question: whether it would be better to freeze to death or burn (SparkNotes). Frost determines both “fire and ice” would achieve its purpose sufficiently well. He's talking about the power that human beings have to harm or destroy one another, foremost ending in “destruction”. Shmoop Editioral Team acknowledges the speaker's experience with romantic “desire”. “Desire” has taught him that passionate or hot emotions like love and lust would probably have the ability to turn the earth into a big fiery fireball (Shmoop Editorial Team). He has also experienced the other extreme, and he knows that colder emotions like “hate” “Is also great / And would suffice” (8-9). Frost uses many techniques, musical devices, and figurative language to convey the meanings in the poem. One technique he uses is connotations in the word “fire”. “Fire” could mean money, power, sex, or drugs. “From what I’ve tasted of desire”, (3) the word “desire” typically means lust. Lust carries with it a deeper, more real connotation. According to an analysis, “By using “desire” instead of lust, which is a broader word applicable to more things, Frost is equating simple “desire” with lust, therefore giving the word a darker association within the context of the poem” ("Analysis of "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost."). The word “tasted” also plays a role. It relates the abstract thought of “desire” to a relatable human sense. The imagery of “fire” causes the feeling of heat and light, but also burning and pain. I think the poem is an allusion to Dante's Inferno. Dante described the lowest part of Hell as made of “ice”. The figurative language of symbolism is the key to this poem. Frost very clearly makes “fire” a symbol for “desire”, and “ice” a symbol for “hate”. By
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