fire and ice
The poet talks about the two different beliefs regarding end of this world. He says that he is in the favour of those who say this world will end in fire as he has seen the effect and result of uncontrolled and unending desires. He finds the human desires same as fire in its nature. On the other hand, the second belief tells that ice is sufficient for destroying this world and the poet compares the nature of ice with hatred. As ice can make a part of body numb with its prolonged contact like hatred can also give numbness to our mind and thoughts and make us insensitive and cruel.
The speaker brings us into the middle of an argument between people who think the world will come to a fiery end and people who think the world will freeze. He could be talking about the literal end of the world, but he's also talking about the power that human beings have to harm or "destroy" one another.
The speaker's experience with romantic desire has taught him that passionate or "hot" emotions like love and lust would probably have the power to turn the earth into a big fireball. But he has also experienced the other extreme, and he knows that colder emotions like hate have great destructive power. Love gets all the publicity, but hate is the silent killer. It may not have the same grandeur as the fireball ending, but it'll do the trick.
short questions & answers
Q1: What are the two opinions discussed in the poem about the end of this world?
A: The two opinions are that this world will end either in fire or in ice.
Q2: What does fire stand for in the poem?
A: Fire stands for desire as it spreads very fast if remains uncontrolled.
Q3: What does ice stand for in the poem?
A: Ice stands for hatred as both are same in nature, they make us insensitive and rigid.
text book questions & answers
Q1: There are many ideas about how the world will ‘end’. Do you think the world will end some day? Have you ever thought what would happen if the sun got so hot that it ‘burst’, or grew colder and colder?
A: Yes I believe that this world will end some but when nobody knows. Whether the sun gets hot or it gets colder in both the situations end of this world is sure.
Q2: For Frost, what do ‘fire’ and ‘ice’ stand for? Here are some ideas:
# greed # avarice # cruelty # lust # conflict # fury # intolerance
# rigidity # insensitivity # coldness # indifference # hatred.
FIRE: greed, avarice, lust, conflict, fury, intolerance.
ICE: cruelty, rigidity, insensitivity, coldness, indifference, hatred.
Q3: What is the rhyme scheme of the poem? How does it help in bringing out the contrasting ideas in the poem?
A: The rhyme scheme of the poem is: a, b, a, a; b. c, b, c, b. The two contrasting ideas fire and ice are totally supported by the rhyme scheme of the poem as different alphabets carry different ideas expressed in the poem.
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