Summary and Analysis of Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice is a poem written by Rober Frost. It outlines the fate of the world, wondering if it is more likely to be destroyed by fire or ice.

Summary

The poet says that there are two notions in society about the destruction of the world. The first of these theories states that fire will cause a disaster to happen. He equates fire with human passion and desire. The poet frankly confesses that he agrees with those people who believe that the world will be burnt by fire.

The poet stops discussing the first theory and goes on to talk about the second theory – the theory about the destruction of the earth by ice. He does not disagree with the first theory about the fire. He simply considers what might happen if the earth were to be destroyed a second time. He is sure that the second time ice will be enough to destroy the earth as nearly and effectively as the fire. He then compares ice with hatred.

Analysis

‘Fire and Ice’ is a short poem by Robert Frost. In this poem, the poet refers to two predictions of how the world will end. Some say it will end in a fire while others say it will end in ice.

According to the poet ‘fire’ stands for desire, greed, avarice, or lust. The more you try to satisfy them, the more they grow. There is no end to it. They spread rapidly like fire and engulf your whole life. One becomes selfish and sometimes cruel also.

On the other hand, ‘ice’ according to the poet, stands for hatred, coldness, and rigidity. One becomes insensitive and indifferent towards the feelings of others.

The poet says that both fire and ice are growing with such a rapid speed that the world would soon perish either way, in fire or in ice.

The poet wants to convey the message that if mankind is not able to control its desire and feeling of hatred then the earth would definitely come to an end.

Poetic Devices

Symbolism: Fire symbolises human desires, whereas ice stands for hatred.

Alliteration:

  • Some say the world will end in fire.
  • I hold with those who favour fire.

Rhyme Scheme: abaa ababa

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