Isolation - Edward Thomas and Robert Frost

1136 words 5 pages
Both Poets write about the isolation of the individual in their poetry
Compare and contrast two poems, one by each poet, taking account of the methods which each poet uses to write about the isolation of the individual.

Both poets write about the isolation of the individual in their poems An Old Man’s Winter’s Night and Man And Dog. Frost depicts an elderly individual who is isolated form others because of the harshness of the natural environment around him. Whilst Thomas depicts a nomadic individual who wanders the countryside and who, In contrast to Frosts character embraces his isolation, choosing instead a “brown bitch” for his only company
To begin with, Thomas writes in rhyming couplets which create an on-going effect of the
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Both poets write about each individuals company in their poems. In AOMWN the individual is “consigned to the moon” which shows how this man feels that he should only come out at night. He feels that it is his only option, he does not prefer to be lonely like the individual in Man and Dog, it is his circumstances which have left him in this situation. This contrasts starkly to Man and Dog, “she’s not much use to me, but she’s still company” the speaker chooses the companionship in the form of a “small brown bitch” and his isolation is emphasised through the companionship of this dog.
Furthermore the poets both end their poems on very different notes. In AOMWN the line, “it’s thus he does of a winter night” gives a sense of hopelessness; a sense that old age will be harsh. The use of the word “Winter” depicts harsh weather which connotes a harsh life. Whilst in Man and Dog the closing lines are about the weakness of old age, but the speaker’s attitude towards weakness is very different to that of AOMWN. “together in the twilight of the wood”, this collective phrase shows how the man is united with nature through this simple encounter. The image of the man walking along with nature is a positive image. His isolation has led him to be close to nature.
In Man and Dog the tone is rather positive and almost hopeful, the man could dwell upon his isolation and feel lonely, but