Audaces fortuna juvat

Working towards my dream

Fire and Ice versus Desire and Hatred

Posted by C Moon on October 14, 2007

While simply asking the long-lasted question, whether the world will end in fire or in ice, the persona of Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” implies that the true scare lies in human himself.

Dunnottar Castle Ruin

Contrasting the two words, the immediate meaning of the poem seems to be obvious even to a little child. However, the poem goes beyond the discussion of how the world will end. The persona first sways toward the “fire” side of the argument, in that he knows the fervid humans’ “desire,” that has no limit. However, the persona is also persuaded into the “ice” side of the argument, considering the ice-like feature of “hate.” Eventually he couldn’t decide between the two and concludes that both fire and ice are destructive enough to end the world. The interesting point of the poem is that the persona does not talk about the physical meaning of fire and ice. Human’s desire and hatred take the place instead. Though the question remains unanswered, the persona seems to convey to us the important message that we humans should control our infinite desire and unending hatred that may lead to the end of the world rather than worry about which one of the two will end the world.

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Fire and Ice – Robert L. Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice,
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

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Photo Credits: “Dunnottar Castle Ruin” by spodzone of Flickr

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2 Responses to “Fire and Ice versus Desire and Hatred”

  1. Clay Burell said

    Your conclusions are so wonderfully unschooly. As a teacher, I love them. Much better than that “in conclusion, …[summary]” garbage.

    Nice work 🙂

  2. Catherine Moon said

    Haha, Thanks 🙂

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