Class 10 English Poetry ‘Fire and Ice’ Notes: The notes cover summary, themes, central idea, poetic devices etc. The video tutorial explains the poem in Hindi. These Notes would sure help students in preparing the poem for exam purpose.
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Fire and Ice Notes
Fire and Ice Video
About the Poem
In the poem ‘Fire and Ice’, Frost explores two different ways in which the world might end. By debating the merits of each argument in a conversational tone, Frost subtly critiques humankind’s destructive nature.
The Cental Idea of the poem of the poem rests on the fact that the world would end and two opinions about the end of the world. One is that the world would end due to ‘fire’ which represents the never ever satiated ‘desires’ of human beings. The poet sides with this opinion. The other opinion is that the world would end due to ‘ice’ which represents ‘hatred’ of the people. If we take the literal meanings then the world would end due to fiery temperature, volcanic eruptions and the likes which would raise the temperature of in the atmosphere. The ‘ice’ means the freezing of the earth due to extremely low temperature.
- Some people think fire will end the world; others think it will be ice.
- From personal experience, Frost knows that fire, that is, human desire, has the power to destroy the world.
- However, if the world has to end twice, then ice, that is, hate will also be enough.
The major themes of this poem are:
Humankind’s Destructive Nature
- Through the symbols of fire (desires) and ice (hatred), Frost comments on humankind’s capability to end the world.
- Hate and desires like anger, greed and violence – if allowed unchecked – can spread quickly leading to global wars and possibly extinction.
- The descriptions suggest that Frost has had first-hand experience with the consequences of these two destructive forces.
Inevitability of the End of the World
- By not providing a scenario where the world might be saved, the poet believes that the world will end one way or the other.
- He uses phrases like ‘world will end’ and ‘if it had to perish twice’ to further emphasise this.
The poem provides brief insights on Robert Frost, the narrator of the poem.
Pessimistic: He believes the world will end-one way or the other.
Narrow Outlook Against Humanity: He doesn’t seem to have much faith in humankind. He believes their tendencies to hate and destroy will eventually bring about their own destruction.
Intelligent: He intelligently discusses two ways in which the world will end.
Indifferent: He seems to be unconcerned about the end of the world.
LITERARY ELEMENTS: Fire and Ice
A few key literary elements in the poem are:
- Rhyme Scheme
- Frost symbolises the words ‘fire’ and ‘ice’.
- ‘Fire’ symbolises the destructive nature of human desire.
- ‘Ice’, on the other hand, symbolises the hatred that human beings feel for each other.
- By symbolising ‘fire’ and ‘ice’, Frost seems to believe that rather than natural disasters, it is human beings who will end up destroying the planet not once but twice.
- The tone of the poem is conversational.
- This conversational tone seems deliberate so Frost can highlight the destructive nature of human emotions like desire and hate.
- The tone also serves to heighten the dramatic nature of the events portrayed in the poem.
- The phrases ‘some say’, ‘world will’ and ‘favour fire’ are examples of alliteration.
- By highlighting soft sounds like ‘s’, ‘w’ and ‘f’, Frost conveys the conversational tone of the poem.
- They also serve to highlight the underlying serious themes of the poem like disaster and destruction.
The rhyme scheme of the poem is abaabcbcb.
Some say the world will end in fire. a
Some say in ice. b
From what I’ve tasted of desire a
I hold with those who favour fire. a
But if it had to perish twice. b
I think I know enough of hate c
To say that for destruction ice b
Is also great c
And would suffice. b