The Narrative Voice in "Acquainted With the Night" Poem Review by Rhapsode

The Narrative Voice in "Acquainted With the Night"
An analysis of the narrative voice in Robert Frost's poem "Acquainted with the Night".
# 102589 | 1,173 words | 1 source | MLA | 2006 | CA
Published on Mar 30, 2008 in Literature (Poetry) , English (Analysis)

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This paper discusses how "Acquainted with the Night" describes the persona's confrontation with 'the long, dark night of the soul', in which he stands alone in a universe that is bereft of any overarching divine meaning or even a mundanely constructed order or morality. It discusses how, far from engendering a sense of hopelessness, the indifferent ambiguity of the universe motivates the narrator's exploration of his own nature, displaying the curiosity that is the birthright of humanity.

From the Paper:

"The opening stanza of the poem consists of three declarative sentences that describe the persona's ambiguous relationship with the night, as well as suggesting the commencement of a journey. By stating that "I have been one acquainted with the night" (Frost, l.1), the narrator immediately removes himself from objective time and begins to describe a relationship located in neither the past nor present, but rather a subjective temporality that is akin to the dream-state of semi-consciousness. The repetition of the personal pronoun 'I' emphasizes that he is alone in his wandering and that this is an exploration of the self and its relationship to the outer world. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Vol. 1; 3rd Edition. Eds. Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellman and Robert O'Clair. New York: Norton, 2003. pp. 215-216.

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