Nothing Gold Can Stay Interpretation
The eight line poem Nothing Gold Can Stay, was in the novel by S.E. Hinton,
The Outsiders. This poem has two meanings, the first about good things never last forever and the second about youth and innocence. Robert Frost’s poem relates to the novel, the Outsiders in many ways.
The first meaning is that good things do not last. That life may seem perfect when everything is going right, but this will not stay forever. Everything living is beautiful and every beautiful thing will eventually die. Robert Frost is saying good things will never stay forever. Many times in a person’s life there will unhappiness and sorrow, the good times will end. Even though the great times come to an end, they will be followed by more and more great times. It is just like life. Life begins through beautiful babies, but sadly, in many years the baby will die. But, since good times will come again, a new beautiful baby will be born. It also means that all things are going to change eventually, like people, seasons and nature.
Gold in the poem represents youth. Line one, “Natures first green is gold,” indicates nature’s first green is youth because every living thing begins with youth. Line two, “Her hardest hue to hold,” represents that youth is very hard to keep because they get older in age. In line three, the poem says, “Her early leafs a flower”, which defines youth as innocent, and beautiful like a flower. Line four, “But only so an hour” means that the young child will grow older and no longer be innocent for it will mature and begin to do wrong things. In line five, “Then leaf subsides to leaf” symbolizes the child becoming an adult and loosing it’s innocence and childhood. “So Eden sank to grief,” states that the person realizes that they are no longer a child and that they must face the world all on their own. “So dawn goes down to day,” means the childhood of the person is finished and that it will never return. The last line, “Nothing gold can stay” states that people change and youth will not stay forever.
The characters’ lives in the Outsiders relate to the lines in the poem, greatly. At first Johnny’s life was carefree and happy until the night he was beat up. That night changed him, it lost his innocence, like the poem describes. Ponyboy’s life was also joyous before he experience Johnny kill the Soc, Bob. After these two events happened both boys were no longer the same. The events had matured them and they were not children anymore. The poem describes nothing good lasting, well Johnny’s life was slightly good and his life did not last, neither did Dally’s life.
‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ is a deep poem and has many reflective meanings. Johnny and Ponyboy in the novel can relate to and tried to understand this poem. To me there are a few meanings about life and innocence.
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