Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Lockless Door


Language #2: The Lockless Door by Robert Frost.
This poem can be found by clicking here.

The Lockless Door mainly utilizes the method of figurative language known as a parable. It is similiar to an allegory in which it is a story that is told to illustrate or teach a kind of truth or lesson. Robert Frost wrote many poems using parables. In The Lockless Door, Frost writes about self-imprisonment and escape.

He begins the poem letting the reader know that "it went many twenty years" before the knock arrived at the door. These twenty years suggest that the speaker went through a long period of seclusion. However, they are probably not literal seclusion. The speaker most likely experienced internal seclusion of some kind and when he heard the knock on the door he finally had a realization. Whether this knock was some kind of opportunity or a way out we are not told, but it was a life altering moment nevertheless.

The fact that the door was a "lockless" one leads me to think that the speaker was the one entrapping himself in this room. If the door had been able to be locked then it would be more likely that someone else was keeping him locked up in this room. However, the door cannot be locked so the speaker could have left at any time. Since he didn't, there was more than just a physical entrapment in this cage. Something from within was keeping the speaker in this room with the lockless door.

The following stanzas are talking about the speaker's attempt at escaping from his "cage" that he was probably living in for those twenty years prior. He does not "bade a 'Come in'" until he has safely escaped the cage, out the wide open window. Ironically, the speaker does say that he goes on to "hide in the world" after leaving this cage. Instead of hiding in the cage he's been in for so long, he is going to bring himself to the world and hide amongst all of the people. Does this truly mean he is escaping? I believe so because while he may be hiding in the world, the speaker has found himself. The escape was not from the cage itself, but the escape from the internal imprisonment he'd experienced for those twenty years.

The overall poem appears to simply be about an individual's escape from a dark, enclosed room. However, it holds a more powerful meaning and representation. It is about the human desire for escape. Humans have a tendency to lock themselves up internally and live life safely, instead of going out into the world and "altering with age." Frost is making a statement about how we as humans should escape the cage with the lockless door and allow ourselves to live among the world.

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