Robert Frost, the author of, “Acquainted With the Night” uses many literary devises to tell the speaker’s attitude toward the city and the speaker’s current life. Frost uses language such as diction and imagery, details, and metaphors to reveal the speaker’s attitude of loneliness and depression.
Diction plays a major role in helping the audience, or reader understand the attitude of the speaker. Words such as, “saddest”, “unwilling”, and “cry” are all words used to describe emotions of loneliness or despair. The speaker obviously has something lingering on his mind that he can not put behind him. He is weary and upset. The word “night” alone connotes to many other low words, such as, dark, cold, quiet, or alone. The word “rain” symbolizes coldness, and the uncomfortableness that comes along with being wet. Images also play a major role in understanding the attitude of the speaker. The image of the rain falling down when the speaker goes out, and that it is still there when he comes back shows that the speaker can never get away from his problem. The fact that when the speaker stopped walking he also “stopped the sound of feet”, meaning that he was the only person around, again leading back to the idea that he is mourning in his state of loneliness. These words and images help to show the speaker’s attitude.
There are many details that Frost added to give a person a better understanding of the speaker and his feelings. The idea of the speaker, “outwalk[ing] the furthest city light” shows that he is out of bed in the middle of the night walking aimlessly trying to get his problem lifted. It shows how disturbed and troubled the speaker is with this mysterious problem floating around. The line “I have looked down the saddest lane” shows how the speaker has sort of a woe-is-me attitude where he feels that because it is happening to him it must be the worst. When the speaker says that the cry he heard was not to “call [him] back or say good-bye” is shows that he feels as if no one cares about him. He feels hopeless and that there is no way out of the mess he is in. These details all help in identifying the speaker’s attitude.
There are many metaphors that help one understand the attitude of the speaker. The night itself is a metaphor for the speaker’s loneliness. The rain is his problems. He goes out walking to get away from his problems but they will never leave him. The luminary clock is a metaphor for the moon that shines in the sky. The moon is the only lit thing in the darkness of the light, giving off a little bit of hope to those lost in its dreariness.
The attitude of loneliness, and hopelessness were clearly shown when one looked at the diction and imagery, details, and metaphors in this poem. One could learn many lessons form this poem about how when troubles come along, just trying to walk away from them will never help.
Courtney from Study Moose
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