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final study guide - Design and A Noiseless Patient Spider...

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Design and A Noiseless Patient Spider - symbol of the spider 1. "Design" - Robert Frost 1. Combination of Italian and English sonnet form 2. 14 lines, 3 rhyme words, formal verse 3. Speculating about the fate of a moth which leads him to consider a malevolent “designer” that toys with his creations. 4. Free will and fate 5. In Design, the speaker is watching a spider about to eat a moth. He thinks about the “designer”, some omnipotent force, that created the spider and the moth and the situation that the two find themselves in. Frost also uses irony to convey his tone. For instance, he calls the spider dimpled, fat and white. “Dimpled” usually has pleasant connotations, like someone smiling, but instead he is using it to refer to a scary creature. He also uses “white”, which usually refers to purity, innocence, or angelic qualities, but he instead is using it to refer to death and darkness. 2. A Noiseless Patient Spider" - Walt Whitman 1. Free verse 2. Jealous of the spider’s ability to explore the “vacant vast surrounding” 3. In A Noiseless Patient Spider, the speaker is watching a spider spinning a web, almost effortlessly. The speaker refers to the spider’s actions as “tireless”, as if he can do it without even thinking. He compares this web to the “web” of his own soul, and his confusion about his purpose in life. The spider has a purpose: to spin the web, and the speaker is indecisive and unsure of his own. This is demonstrated by Whitman’s use of the words “noiseless” and “patient” when talking about the spider, because he on the other hand feels restless. Stopping By Woods and The Snow Man - image of snow 3. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" - Robert Frost, 1923 1. New England- New Hampshire 2. The philosophic sense of the poem occurs in the last lines 3. Narrative 4. English sonnet. 16 lines, 4 rhyme words 5. Formal verse - tetrameter 6. Conflict between attraction to going into the woods and responsibilities elsewhere 7. Winter is seen as attractive, deep woods 8. Winter in the nighttime 9. Won’t allow himself to get lost because of the danger he sees in the time of winter and in these woods- “darkest evening of the year”- darkness, not a joyful image of winter 10. A masculine quest that the speaker is embarking on; he has “a promise to keep and miles to go before [he] sleep[s]…” because he is trying to get somewhere 11. Decision between society and responsibility vs. Seductive darkness beyond the village 12. Speaker’s dilemma: regard for beauty, attraction to danger/ the unknown/ mystery, or a wish for suicide 4. The Snow Man" - Wallace Stevens, 1923 1. January in New England 2. Post-modern 3. Enjambment; run-on sentence - gives the feeling of being surreal
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4. Free verse 5. Speaker in poem becomes snow man 6. The idea of winter is bright and pretty - “glittering snow from the January sun” 7. Innocence: a snowman is something we make when we’re young 8. Winter in the daytime 9. Misery- there is nothing there for the listener to hear, but there is something to look at.
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