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A Study of the Female Images in Robert Frost’s Poems

Author WeiZuo
Tutor HuoHongYu
School Shanghai Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Robert Frost female images equilibrium between both sexes
CLC I712.072
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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Robert Frost (1874-1963) is one of the most important American modern poets and received Pulitzer Prize four times. His poems, featured with the background of the rural life in New England, always combine nature with life philosophy. Up to now, the academic research both at home and abroad has paid a great attention only to the images of nature in Frost’s poems. However, another group of important images in his poems has long been ignored, that is, female images. Although the poems with female images don’t constitute a main stream of Frost’s poetry, these excellent poems with enduring appeal are also an important ingredient of his poetic creativity. Thus it’s definitely of significance to analyze these female images in Frost’s poems.This thesis falls into five chapters. Its main body is Chapter Two, Three and Four. Chapter Two interprets Frost’s attitude towards women and his equilibrium view on men and women respectively from the perspectives of his family environment, the social-historical background around the1st wave of Feminism in America and his dualistic outlook on the relation between both sexes. Chapter Three examines the types of the female images in Frost’s poems and it is found that these female images correspond, to a large extent, to what the feminist movement claimed at that time. Chapter Four concentrates on Frost’s efforts in characterizing the female images, his poetic techniques of expression as well as his language style to restore the distorted female images in the patriarchal tradition.In conclusion, the female images in Frost’s poems are the product of his life experiences and the social-historical conditions. They reflect the dilemma and suffering which women faced in marriage, life and female identity at that time. Although Robert Frost never claimed himself to be a feminist, the female images in his poems and the strong sympathy he shows towards these women reflect his thinking over the women’s fate and his equilibrium view on the relation between both sexes, which is very praiseworthy for a male poet who lived in the-early-20th-century America where the patriarchal culture still prevailed.

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