In Fire and Ice Robert Frost uses
the elements of fire and ice very symbolically. While he could be speaking
literally of the destruction of the world by fire or ice, I believe he using the
two elements to describe the two types of people in this world.
Fire, or “desire”, would be the
type of person filled with love, passion, and bliss. Robert Frost knows from
personal experience, that these powerful emotions are strong enough to turn our
world into a huge fireball of emotion, ultimately destroying humanity as we
Then there is ice, also known as
the harsh emotion of hatred. While love may get all the praise, hatred is
equally as lethal. It, too, has the power to destroy our world with its cold emotions.
Robert Frost could also be speaking
of something like war, where these two emotions go against each other, and
ultimately end up destroying each other, and everything around them.
Fire could additionally be
described as the animal side of our nature. The emotions associated with fire
are instinctual for us. We don’t think, we just do. Therefore, in Robert frosts
opinion, fire would win, and end up destroying earth. The “ice” emotions are far
more complicated. They need deliberation and thought.
In line 3
Robert writes “From what I’ve tasted of desire” meaning he has definitely
experienced the emotions that go along with fire. He seems much more hesitant
on the subject of hatred or “ice” for example in line 4 he writes “I think I know enough of hate”. We don’t what hate he knows from this line. Has he
merely observed hate, has he been the victim, or has he been the one hating?
think of hate, I think of rage, which is associated with the color red, like
fire. So why doesn’t Robert frost portray hate as fire? Maybe he is speaking of
the type of anger that lingers in your mind, beneath the surface of it all. Eventually
that anger is pressured to show its self in one way or another. Imagine a lake
frozen over, if you hit it hard enough it cracks and the water underneath it
all shows itself.