Critical Analysis of Robert Frost's After Apple Picking

Essay add: 30-09-2015, 10:30   /   Views: 1 765
Critical Analysis of Robert Frost's "After Apple Picking"

In the poem "After Apple Picking", Robert Frost uses many symbols to enhance the meaning of the poem. The apple in the poem could be symbolic of be said to be the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was basically the beginning of everything earthly and heavenly, therefore repelling death. For you to understand the poem, you have to realize that for something to be dead, it must have been alive before. This may not be the central theme of the poem but Frost's symbolic use of the apple makes this concept as important. This poem is about life but its focuses are what are in between, the missed life experiences and the regret that the speaker is left with.

The state of mind that the speaker seems to be in, is one full of regrets. He says, "And there's a barrel that I didn't fill beside it, and there may be two or three apples I didn't pick upon some bough. But I am done with apple-picking now". These apples that the speaker is referring to can be said to represent life experiences, that he missed. Or it could be something that he didn't learn but wanted to learn. The barrels are empty and by him seeing this, he becomes filled with regret. Anyway, "but I am done with apple-picking now", tells us that the speaker's life experiences are basically coming to an end. He is now at a reflecting point for he tells us that he dreams "magnified apples appear and disappear, stem end and blossom end and every fleck of russet showing clear". Through this passage we see that he is reflecting back on his life. Some experiences are clearer than others are, but some are more important now than they were at the time it happened. When the speaker says, "stem end and blossom end", we see that the speaker has looked at all his life experiences from top to bottom. He can now see the "russet" parts of the skin or the wrinkles or bruises on the apples, the bruises meaning the mistakes that were made.

You come to and understanding for the speaker's reflection when the speaker says, " I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight I got from looking through a pane of glass I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough and held against the world of hoary grass". This statement makes it seem as though the speaker saw his reflection in the "drinking trough" and noticed that the reflection was "hoary", or gray with age. You can come to the assumption that the speaker sees more than just himself in the reflection in the drinking trough. He is also seeing reflections of his life. "There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch, Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall". It seems as though the speaker is seeing all the opportunities he had in his life that he didn't take advantage of and is now reflecting on them. He is now realizing how important the "fruits" were. Then the speaker says, "For all that stuck the earth, No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble, went surely to the cider-apple heap as of no worth". The bruises represent the missed opportunities and the mistakes he made. Theses bruises went "to the cider-apple heap as of no worth", which means that although the apples were bruised, they still had there own relevance or worth in which he didn't see until now.

The very fist line, "My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree toward heaven still" reveals the reason for the speaker's sudden urge of regret. This reference to heaven gives you the idea that the speaker thinks that he is going to die. "But I am done apple-picking now. Essence of winter sleep is on the night". The words, "winter", "sleep" and "night", all represent death but to the speaker this death that he sees coming isn't a painful death, he sees it as being peaceful. As the poem comes closer to the end, the speaker says, "One can see what will trouble this sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is". Here the speaker seems to be a little bit troubled, is it an everlasting sleep or is this just a regular sleep?

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