Robert Frost: Poems

An Analysis of Robert Frost's 'The Silken Tent' 12th Grade

Throughout "The Silken Tent," Robert Frost employs an extended metaphor in comparing a woman to a delicate tent surrounded by nature. This device explores the idea of freedom possessed by a woman in 1940s America, but also confronts the restrictions and responsibilities of family and society.

Frost explores the importance of setting, focusing on scenes of nature to evoke connotations of an ethereal and light atmosphere surrounding the tent: ‘She is as in a field a silken tent At midday when a sunny summer breeze…’[1] The ‘silken tent’ suggests softness and sensuality, which are juxtaposed against the extremely mundane surroundings: ‘a field’, presenting a mixture of practicality and openness. The time of day is also significant: ‘Midday’, a time when the sun would be highest in the sky. Naturally, this time-frame bestows a warm and comforting feeling on not only the character but the reader also. Additionally, the alliteration of ‘sunny summer’ accentuates a song-like rhythm that contributes to the light atmosphere, a mood continued in ‘sureness of the soul’. The theme of location brings forward a further message as to the position of women in society: ‘And its supporting central cedar pole, That is its pinnacle to heavenward’...

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