After Apple-picking by Robert Frost

The “apple”:

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In this poem, Robert Frost makes use of the symbol of choosing apples to symbolize the speaker’s hard work and choices throughout his life. In the Bible, the apple symbolizes data; this analogy reinforces the knowledge gained from the speaker’s life experiences. “My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking via a tree/Toward heaven still” emphasizes that the act of choosing apples could be interpreted as one thing associated to religion. In the book of Genesis in the Bible, Eve was tempted by a snake to eat the forbidden fruit of the apple as a result of the snake convinced her that eating it might make her extra educated than God.

This story may be associated to the poem as a result of when Eve eats the apple, she can go up the “ladder to heaven” as a end result of she is “omniscient” sufficient to take action. A freshly picked apple could also symbolize opportunities in one’s life. In the poem, the speaker does not successfully choose all of the apples, this exhibits that there were a lot of opportunities in his life that he by no means accomplished.

“Apples I didn’t decide upon some bough/But I am carried out with apple-picking now” present that the speaker is fast to surrender on the opportunities he was offered throughout his life. The imagery of the hundreds of apples that struck the earth and became bruised also means that the speaker has wasted plenty of alternatives in his life.


Frost additionally uses “winter” to represent an extended resting period or dying.

Towards the tip of the poem, the speaker contemplates whether demise is merely the state of hibernation, which means that there’s life after death or simply “human sleep” the place the speaker is prepared to get up the next day only to search out that he has to continue living his old life. In line 12: “And held against the world of hoary grass”; the word “hoary” means frosty, the poet has chosen this specific word so as to present the speaker’s pessimistic view in regards to the world and reiterate the speaker’s contemplations about dying.

> Structure:

The poem isn’t structured into any stanzas because the entire poem is one stanza. It incorporates forty-two strains however only fourteen sentences. If the sentences were highlighted, it would look like the steps of the ladder talked about in the second line of the poem. These “steps” emphasize the speaker’s longing to die to find a way to go to heaven.

The poem has multifarious end-rhymes, nevertheless it doesn’t have an everyday sample. “I was well/Upon my method to sleep earlier than it fell/And I could tell” is an example of some end-rhymes that allows readers to vicariously imagine an image where the speaker is drowsing off together with his head slowly happening and up once more. The rhyme words “well”, “fell”, and “tell” emphasizes deep sleep. There were additionally some assonance current within the poem: “Stem finish and blossom end,” and

“Magnified apples appear and reappear”. These assonances have been additionally used to supply readers with a drowsy feeling.

The variety of syllables of every line of the poem varies from two to eleven syllables. The longer strains of the poem add to the sleepy temper of the poem however the brief and abrupt lines create a way of hesitation and the sudden awake of the speaker from his sleep. For instance: “Cherish in hand, raise down, and not let fall” exhibits the speaker’s dreaming frame of mind while “For all” emphasizes a sudden alarm for the speaker.

> Tone:

The overall tone of the poem is pessimistic as a end result of the speaker is upset together with his failures in life and is just passively ready for his ‘long sleep’ or dying. This can be seen when the speaker was picking apples and offers up when he was unable to efficiently pick all the apples. “Apples I didn’t choose upon some bough. But I am accomplished with apple-picking now” shows that the speaker offers up his alternatives in life so easily by merely saying he’s carried out with “apple-picking”.

Towards the top of the poem, he sarcastically says: “Long sleep, as I describe its coming on/Or just some human sleep”. By including “or just some” in front of “human sleep”, the speaker hints to the reader that he is sick and uninterested in having to wake up from his sleep to search out that he has to run the same old, monotonous life that has no meaning. The speaker needs to be just like the woodchuck that is in a position to hibernate during winter and is prepared to begin a model new life after it wakes up from hibernation. The speaker needs to have a brand new life and never the current one he’s main.

> Repetition:

The word sleep is repeated six occasions in the poem, to strengthen and reiterate the speaker’s feelings of drowsiness. The word “sleep” offers the strongest effect at lines 35-40. There is a rhyme between the word “Heap” in line 35 and the word “sleep” in line 38″. Another “Sleep” is repeated in the identical line: “This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.” The final the traces of the poem: “Long sleep, as I describe its coming on/Or just some human sleep” properly ends the poem with a sleepy tone. This ambiguous line leaves readers uncertain whether or not the speaker is indeed simply having some “human sleep” or has already entered his “long sleep”.

“Long sleep” as mentioned above, was an euphemism for death. Frost juxtaposed the phrases “long sleep” and “human sleep” to be able to contrast the reality that “long sleep” implies ‘life after death’ and “human sleep” implies ‘boring and old life”. The speaker is being somewhat sarcastic because he doesn’t even care whether or not he’s going to die or not. He says he would possibly go for a “long sleep” or only a normal “human sleep”. The poet raises a question to readers about whether people know what happens after they die. Humans can’t know what comes after death; it is just via their faith in a religion that can give them a sense of where they’re going after demise.