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An Ecocritical Study of Robert Frost’s Nature Poetry

Author MiaoYan
Tutor WangYong
School Shandong University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords ecological consciousness Robert Frost nature poetry
CLC I712.072
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Along with the progress of science and technology and the unceasing enhancement of human living standards, our environment is becoming worse and worse, the ecological crisis emerges. The emergence of ecological crisis makes us aware that the outlook of world that made human society develop by leaps and bounds and made humanity exploit nature at their willing has been questioned. Since the1980s, there gradually appears a disruptive criticism faction—ecological criticism, which now has become an important subject and received much attention from scholars coming from different countries and fields. Ecological criticism methods can be used to analyze, to judge nearly all forms of literary works. Accordingly, through the ecological interpretation of literary works, people can absorb the ecological consciousness to guide their daily action and to make great contribution to the environmental cause.Robert Frost is one of America’s most outstanding poets in the20th century. Most of his poems use nature as the theme, mainly describing New England rural pastoral scenery and wildlife. His poetry is full of local flavor and pastoral sentiment. Nature is the source of Frost’s creation. The characteristics of his nature poems are simple language, beautiful artistic conception and profound meanings. The first part of this thesis talks about Frost and his nature poetry, mainly introducing the characteristics of Frost’s poetry.In addition to simple language, beautiful artistic conception, profound meanings, Frost’s natural poetry also contains the ecological consciousness, having more important practical significance. In such an ecological-crisis-ridden time, it is very significant to analyze Frost’s ecological consciousness, because his poetry is still widely read even today. The author of this thesis pays much attention to an ecocritical reading of Frost’s nature poetry and analyzes his ecological consciousness in three aspects:1) the integrity of the ecological system;2) the interrelatedness of man and nature;3) the harmonious coexistence between man and nature.Through reading Robert Frost’s poetry carefully, the author discovers that Frost not only presents his ecological consciousness, but also brings us some inspirations through his ecological consciousness hidden behind his nature poetry. First, we should reconsider the relationship between humanity and nature. Secondly, we should exploit nature moderately. Finally, we can learn philosophy of life from Robert Frost’s nature poetry.Since the time when the poet became famous, there are many studies of him. Although Frost and his poems have been analyzed from many different aspects, we can still make a further analysis to his nature poetry basing on current situation and pay much attention to his ecological consciousness hidden behind the poetry. My humble intention of writing this thesis is to make people pay more attention to Frost’s ecological consciousness. I hope that my study could improve people’s understanding of Frost’s poetry. It is also my hope that readers might get some enlightenment in dealing with the relationship between humanity and nature after reading this thesis.

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