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Analysis of “The Lockless Door” by Robert Frost

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The Lockless Door by Robert Frost shows how an individual is either running away from his conscience or from opportunity. Although there are two sides in this poem, both sides are actually connected to each other in a way so that they make a circle. The Lockless Door show the past and the future at the same time.

If the poem is the case of his conscience, then the individual is perhaps tortured or agonized by something of the past. Frost shows this theme when the door is knocked twice. The person in the poem does not open the door, but he acknowledges the knock. These knocks represent the regrets that the individual has had in his past which is presented in the last two lines of the second stanza, And raised both hands/In prayer to the door. The speaker knows he must open the door and face whatever is behind it, but he seems to be resigned by the knock, as if he can only exist but not thrive. Thus by running away, the individual tinks he can solve the problem, I climbed on the sill/And descended outside.

The person in the poem even tries to fool the knock, Back over the sillI bade a Come inTo whoever the knockAt the door may have beenHowever, the person only fools himself when he decides to escape his conscience and go back to the real world. Unfortunately, when faced with the real world, the person once again hides away from his conscience, knowing that it is inevitable to escape his past and his conscience because he will be tormented again. However, as he hides in a new world and Alters with age Frost shows that the person is changing, getting older, altering in a physical fashion. So hopefully, the person will also change in maturity and recognize that when his conscience knocks again, it becomes a window of opportunity.

Thus if this situation had been the latter and the person in the poem is scared of opportunity and the chance of failure, the results of the individuals actions would be very different. This is represented with the actual knock at the door, which metaphorically, is the opportunity. The speaker knows that opportunity is a game of chance; a game with a certain level of risk. The opportunity came after the speaker has altered with age as described in lines one and two, It went many years/But at last came a knock. This connection shows that the speaker is given an opportunity to do something with his past. Frost illustrates that in the second stanza, the person is debating weather to take the opportunity or not. Frost writes,But the knock came againMy window was wideI climbed on the sillAnd descended outside.The narrator shows that this knock is an opportunity he should take. Frost makes a pun, describing how the speaker actually goes through the window, a window of opportunity.

The speaker calls back to the door and asks the person knocking to accept his opportunity. However, the chances and risks that the speaker faces is shown in the last stanza where Frost writes,So at a knockI emptied my cageTo hide in the worldAnd alter with ageSeeing how the speaker of the poem is either running away from a regret or taking up an opportunity, the poem evidently shows that the perspective of this poem is mature, written for people with experience. The person in the poem has waited many years as stated in the first stanza. Also in the first stanza the speaker says, And I thought of the door/With no lock to lock. Whether he is faced with the guilt of his past or an opportunity of the future, the speaker must have some level of experience in order to recognize what the knock represents. However the speaker in the poem also has much more to learn as stated in the last two lines of the last stanza, To hide in a world/And alter with age. This shows that even though the speaker has much experience, he admits that there is still more to be uncovered as he continues to age and discover more of his life.

Unlike the perspective, Frost lays out the form as a simple 20 line, five-stanza poem. The poem either has five or six syllables in each line. Also each stanza in the poem is written as one sentence. In addition, lines two and four of each stanza rhyme with each other. Finally the poem is depicted much like a story, where Frost shares about his encounter with the door that had no lock to lock.

Similarly, the diction of the poem is also fairly simple. The words that Frost use are easy to understand and as a result, no words is no more than 9 letters long. By following the diction, Frost suggests that the poem is set in the night, because the speaker must blow out the light in the second stanza. This also suggests that the speaker is perhaps in a cottage or a shack that has no electricity. Considering how simple these words are, Frost makes this poem into a dreamy sort of fantasy where one can just hop over the windowsill and forget all problems. However, Frost brings it back to reality in the very last line, And alter with age. Frost could have used flourish or thrive instead, but then the speaker would not be in a situation where he is confronted with his past or opportunity and instead can just continue to dream in a far off land.

Although the diction makes the poem dreamy, the style that Frost uses makes the poem seem more depressing. When putting the diction into context, Frost presents and image of a lone man in an isolated house or cabin far away from society. This leads to a conclusion that the person is perhaps struggling in a battle within himself, which makes the style of the poem dismal. Even more discouraging, Frost shows that the speaker in the poem does not actually solve his problem, rather just hides away and continues with life, altering with age. Thus, Frost shows that even though the person might not find the key to his problem, he continues with life carrying the burden of the lockless door.

Frosts The Lockless Door is a poem that represents the past and the future at the same time. The individual in the poem is presented with two paths, both leading to different results. He is either running away from his regrets, trying to erase his past, or he is taking advantage of an opportunity offered to him. Either way, at the end of the poem, Frost finishes with a gloomy tone. Although gloomy, there is a hint of reality in Frosts message, the past will catch up to the ones who run away from it and that if someone takes up an opportunity there are risks and chances that must be overcome.


The Lockless Door- Robert Frost

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