From the beginning of time, mankind has embarked on an everlasting journey in search of eternal life. Once in a lifetime, every man faces the struggle of avoiding death. In his poem In a Disused Graveyard, Robert Frost uses tone and irony to slowly reveal the theme of man’s relationship with death.
Robert Frost uses literary elements to clearly depict the theme which is revealed in the latter part of the poem. The first stanza “The living come with grassy tread/ to read the gravestones on the hill. The graveyard draws the living still/ but never anymore the dead,” (lines 1-4) clearly illustrates the background. The setting takes place in a quiet area where mankind once resided. This village still stands only as a token of death; the visitors journey to the graveyard only to glimmer at the lives of others. Throughout the poem, Robert Frost uses a cheerful rhyme scheme with short and long i’s (hill with still, and rhyme with time), and he talks about the theme in a mocking tone with oxymorons (grassy tread, graveyard draws the living, dead will come, men are shrinking, now forever, believe the lie). First the author uses an almost cheerful rhyme scheme to lighten the reader’s attitude towards death. Then, the author mocks humanity because he feels that humanity’s cowardice towards death deserves no respect. “It would be easy to be clever/ and tell the stones: Men hate to die,” (line 14) reveals the main theme of the poem. Man’s lust for life overpowers any desire he/ she faces. Mankind possesses a love- hate relationship with death. Death always comes after suffering to numb the pain, yet after death takes place man loses all control and the ability to enjoy anything benevolent in the world. Robert Frost portrays other components of the theme with subtle literary elements. .
Robert Frost portrays the theme of unavoidable death subconsciously with subtle literary elements such as humor, connotations, and shifts.