Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice Interpretation Analysis and Technique



Fire and Frost is a poem written by Robert Frost that tells about distinction between two things that destroy the world (Little 176). Simple language that portrays significant meaning of hatred and desire is evident in the poem. The poem says the world will end with fire and with ice at the same time.

The narrator states that he has tested desire and stood with those who favor fire. However, when it comes to perishing by two things, he only thinks of hate as the second option. That is the destruction by ice. He sees ice as a great destructive force just like fire. The poem ends by showing that both ice and fire destroy. Fire and ice are the expression of authority anxiety to get identity (O’ Brien 29).

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The poem displays two darkest traits of humanity that are the capacity of hate as ice and capacity to be consumed by desire or lust as fire (Little 175). As to the desire, it demonstrates aspects such as greed and jealousy that destroy the world. Greed and jealousy are things that affect one’s emotions and mind and prevent them from thinking clearly.

Once the two aspects overwhelm one, he or she becomes restless. The two things are like fire that keeps burning in the mind and becomes difficult to stop until a particular agenda is achieved, like murder. Jealousy and greed are the things that destroy the world in recent days. People kill each other because of jealousy of their fellow men being more successful than them.

Apart from the desire, the poem shows hatred as a part of the traits of humanity. The implication shows ice that in form of hatred is likely to lead to the demise. Ice is something cold that has no warmth. When there is ice, the world becomes frozen. The poem uses the scientific term ice to show coldness of people’s hearts when they feel hate. The poem explains that once hatred is built in one’s heart a person becomes inhuman and unable to control his or emotions. The purpose of warmth and cold in the world is to regulate the temperature to make life more comfortable. Lack of warmth to control temperature in a human being’s heart results in evil deeds like taking lives of innocent people.

Hate among religions in recent world has brought terrorism attacks in many countries. The real aspect demonstrates how Frost’s poem is true in showing hatred and desire as destructors of the world. Hatred is something that grows like a maize plant. It grows without someone’s knowledge but when it matures, it pops out and produces the results. The results of hate are always bitter. The two aspects of ice and fire show war faced by the world today due to hate and desire. According to Fagan (115), they are things that tend to destroy the world if they happen.

Frosts’ poem links with Dante’s Inferno and Aristotelian thought. In Dante’s Inferno, he mentions the experience in the dark forest, which represents the world full of evil things like corruption and lack of actual authority (Casey 149). It relates to Frost’s poem that shows the world full of hatred and desire. There is also use of animals to simplify certain aspects in the world (Casey 149). The leopard signifies lust just as the desire is represented in form of fire in Frost’s poem. Lust is also a part of the things that destroys the world. Leopard’s lust is what makes it take away human life. The lion signifies pride that is associated with jealousy in form of ice in ‘Fire and Ice’.

Both of them show how humanity traits can destroy the world. They use opaque things in their poems such as fire, ice, leopard and lion. They show distinction between two things that seem to destroy the world even in the recent days. The nine rings in Dante’s work of Inferno are similar to nine lines in Frost’s poem. According to Dante’s work, the biblical predictions and scientists the world will end in the ice age. It is similar to Frost’s work in which ice in the form of hate destroys the world. There is also similarity in the use of fire.

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