Central Idea of the Poem
The poem, ‘Fire and Ice’ by Robert Frost revolves around the theme that human emotions are destructive when allowed to run amok (out of control). They can destroy a person morally, mentally and physically. The poet impresses upon the readers, the destructive results of bearing ill feeling like-greed, avarice, lust, conflict, fury, hatred, intolerance, etc.

Stanza 1
Some say the world will end in fire
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.

desire – wish
hold – to take side, favour
favour – incline towards

Exp – The poet considers the age-old question of whether the world will end in fire or in ice. He is analysing about the end of the world. The poet provides and deals with two possible causes for the end of the world. Both the two reasons contrast each other and are equally opposite to each other. On one side of the debate are those people who are in favour of fire. They believe that it will be the heat and the passion, which will lead the humanity, the world’ to end. On the other side of the debate are those who favour ice and feel that it will be the ‘ice’ which will freeze the world. In other words, either deep heat or fire under the Earth beds will lead to natural calamities like volcano eruptions, earthquakes, etc, which will one day end the world or the melting of the ice from the snowy mountains due to global warming will shrink the world and one day the entire world will die of the icy water.
‘Frost is providing a powerful statement on the subject of greed and jealousy’. He is saying that above all else, even hatred, which is the trait of humanity is most likely to lead to its demise. To Frost, desire represents the greatest problem that the world faces. Desire is a kind of intense love or want that focuses people on getting and possessing and acquiring. This kind of desire can lead people to destruction.

Stanza 2
But if it had to perish twice,
I think, I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

perish – die
suffice – be sufficient

Exp – The poet is very much sure of the destruction of the humanity. He first talks about the destruction caused by fire and in case this fails, then ice will result into hatred that will end humanity one day. Frost goes on to discuss, in a more understated manner, the power of hate, which is symbolised in the poem by ice. Hate, according to the speaker, is just as powerful as desire. While desire consumes, quickly, hate is just as great and powerful. Infact, by ending the poem with the concept of hate. ‘Frost directs the reader to the shy yet restrained devastation that hate can produce. Hate can occur and finger in people’s minds and hearts for years’, sometimes even lifetimes. Hate consumes the hater perhaps even more than the person or group hated; it can ruin lives. Hate is destructive and sinful. Hate is presented as having the ability to lead to the destruction of the world if it were to happen for a second time, again providing a powerful warning against this human fallacy.

Poetic Devices Used in the Poem
Some say the world will end in fire Some say in ice.
I hold with those who favour fire
But if it had to perish twice
Fire – a symbol for desire
Ice – a symbol for hate
Fire and ice carry deep connotations, j Fire elicits the feeling of heat and light, but also burning J and pain.
Ice elicits the feeling of coldness, but also indifference and j intolerance.
Rhyme Scheme
a b a a b c b c b



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