In like and a theory of his

In the poem Accidentally on Purpose, Robert Frost used a combination of paradox and metaphor which creates an ambiguous feeling about whether if the universe was created from an accident or on purpose. Through the structure and tone, Frost uses simple words that sounds like that the speaker is telling facts of evolution but also disagreeing with the idea of it later on.

 

Paradox

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–       To begin with, the title Accidentally on Purpose is an example of paradox used in this poem. From the poem’s title alone, Frost already introduces the element: ambiguity and challenges readers to find out the answers and meanings behind this piece.

–       First 3 stanzas are giving the idea of evolution using a conversational tone but the last 3 stanzas contradict it straight out using a more serious tone and it sounds like Frost is trying to prove things of his own arguments.

–       Line 13 “Never believe it. At the very worst.”

n   Paradox to everything that the speaker just said. Disagreeing about the idea of Darwin’s theory and went on with his own interpretation of how the universe should be like and a theory of his own.

n   This sentence also breaks the rhythm of the structure in this poem, like a sharp and a sudden expression.

Structure & Tone

–       Line 13 “Never believe it. At the very worst.”

n   This line is also one of the most significant shift on the poem. It is the turning point of how the speaker proceed with his/her own thoughts. The first half before this line is almost a “fantasy” world, which the second half after that is like a realistic world with people studying about the fantasy world that seems like it only appears in books.

–       First three stanzas is more scientific– universe, stars, and planets.

–       Last three stanzas is more religious – God, light, “grand me,” and “upward”

–       The syllables in the first 2 stanzas are 10,10,11,11 reflects to the up and down in outer space in the universe and the “bump” we had to become us now days which are explained in the 2 stanzas. The syllables in stanza 3,4,5 are all 10s for each line which is a perfect iambic pentameter, until the very last sentence in the last stanza, which is broken it up to 10,10,10,11. Emphasizing the last sentence are the conclusion to the speaker’s argument.

Metaphor

–       It is another significant device that is used in this poem

–       Line 1 and 2″The Universe is but the Thing of things, /The things but balls all going round in rings.”

n   The use of metaphors such as “balls” mentioned here indicate the planets, stars and other heavenly bodies or subjects rotating around in circles which is surrounding the sun.

–       Line 17 “Whose purpose was it, His or Hers or Its?”

n   Referring to Adam, Eve, and God.

u  According to the creation myth of the Abrahamic religions, Adam and Eve is the first man and woman. Emphasizing the question again, did Adam and Eve decide to create this world or did God decide to make more Adams and Eves?

–       Line 23 “Our best guide upward farther to the light:”

n   light=god

n   Our best guide means that over time our evolution is going to give us the top out of the bests then we are going to become “god-like” or at same level as god.

Ambiguity

–       Besides the title which is the first thing we see that shows ambiguity.

–       Line 11 to line 12″They mean to tell us, though, the Omnibus/ Had no real purpose until it got to us.”

n   “Had no real purpose” means, the Omnibus (a volume containing several novels or other items previously published separately.) are just term; they are worthless, purposeless, and useless without being defined using other things/subjects.

n   “until it got to us.” Means until it turned into us humans. Indicates a doubt on Darwin’s theory. It means that evolution and the creation still depends on human beings and other creatures because it’s everybody’s choice to choose their ways in the result to different paths of evolution.

–       Line 22 “How happily instinctive we remain.”

n   Indicate that we know nothing, we live under the “happily instinctive” which the world is sugar coated. We do not seek for more/deeper meanings of things. We follow our instincts and not looking for proofs or any reasons.

 

To conclude, Frost uses paradoxes, and metaphors to create a feeling of ambiguity throughout the structure and tone of the poem. The question that he proposed earlier makes the readers want to explore the answer to it but he did not explain it in the poem later on. The last sentence of this poem breaks off the iambic pentameters and represents that no matter where you came from or how you turned out to be you, humans are a passionate creature such as “love at sight.” That love is divine, it is related to our heart, rather than to our brain, we work from both and that is what it makes us more highly developed.

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