in A Level, English Literature, Poetry

Below, you’ll find part of an analysis of the poem ‘Into My Own’ by Robert Frost.

Includes a breakdown of the stanzas, an insight into the speaker + voice of the poem, and an exploration of the themes and deeper meanings. This is only a quick overview to help you get to grips with the poem; you can access a full in-depth breakdown of the poem below.


LINK TO THE POEM

STORY/SUMMARY 

The speaker is standing opposite and staring into a forest of old trees; perhaps a pine forest (which has rows of straight, dark green trees). He wishes that these trees weren’t just a ‘mask of gloom’, a surface that seems dark but is actually comforting underneath. Instead, he wants them to stretch far back into the distance as a dense wood that continues up to the ‘edge of doom’. 

Nothing would stop him one day from going deeper into the depths of the forest, beyond the surface, towards ‘doom’. When travelling into the forest, he would never leave again – never look for open land or a highway that leads the way out of the darkness, where time and life go on. 

He doesn’t see any reason why he’d want to turn back. He also doesn’t want others to follow him into the forest, even if they care for him or long to know whether he still loves them – they could catch him up and try to change his mind or overpower him, but it wouldn’t work. 

If someone did follow him into the darkness and find him there, they’d notice that he wasn’t any different from the same person they knew, just that he was more sure of himself and he had made the right decision. 

SPEAKER/VOICE 

The speaker uses an extended metaphor of entering into a dark forest to represent the idea of making the decision to head out alone into a new chapter in life. There are two ways to interpret this: Frost may be exploring the idea of maturity, of moving on and venturing alone into the dangerous ‘unknown’ of the wider world, leaving everything that he knew behind. More sinisterly, critics have also suggested that the poem is representative of thoughts of suicide, the decision to embrace darkness and head towards death. Either way, the speaker says that once he makes this decision, his friends and family will be unable to stop him, because he has taken the decision seriously and is very sure of himself. It is important to remember that the poem represents only ‘one of his wishes’, so it is a thought rather than a decisive action at the time of writing.

THEMES 

  • Death / Afterlife 
  • Spirituality 
  • Ancient wisdom 
  • Mental health / Depression 
  • Friendship 
  • The Unknown 
  • Maturity/ Growth

Thanks for reading! If you’re studying this particular poem, you can buy our detailed study guide here. This includes:

  • Vocabulary
  • Story + Summary
  • Speaker + Voice
  • Language Feature Analysis
  • Form and Structure Analysis
  • Context
  • Attitudes + Messages
  • Themes + Deeper Ideas
  • Key Quotations
  • Extra tasks to complete by yourself

If you’re interested in our complete Robert Frost Poetry course, click here.

For all our English Literature and Language courses, click here.

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