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Birches Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Birches.
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Critical Overview

"Birches" has been viewed as an important expression of Frost's philosophical outlook as well as a transitional poem that signaled a significant change in his literary development. Critic Jeffrey Hart, writing in Sewanee Review, terms "Birches" a "Frostian manifesto" due to the poem's skeptical tone regarding spiritual matters. Hart draws attention to the first part of the poem, where Frost presents the fantastic idea that the trees were bent by a boy, then discredits this thought with a more rational explanation regarding ice storms. In this manner, according to Hart, Frost casts doubt on the irrational aspects of the spiritual realm and upholds the value of earthly reality. "Birches," the critic writes, "asserts the claims of Frost's skepticism and sense of human limits against the desire for transcendence and the sense of mysterious possibility." A similar conclusion is reached by Floyd C. Watkins in an essay published in...

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This section contains 435 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Birches Study Guide
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Birches from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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