Nothing Gold Can Stay
How Robert Frost Uses Literary Devices to Indicate that Good Things Come and Go in His Poem Nothing Gold Can Stay
There are life cycles for everything; humans, animals, and even plants. Everything that is alive will inevitably die; it is just plain unavoidable. In his paper, ““Nothing Gold Can Stay”.” Deirdre Fagan says, “…all beauty is fleeting,” a theme very much present in Robert Frost’s poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” By using imagery, symbolism, and sound, Frost shows his readers that good things will come and go, and that they are often short-lived. He also illustrates that, for the exact reason previously stated, it is extremely important for people to not take anything in life for granted, as they never know when it will be taken away.
One of the most noticeable writing devices used in “Nothing Gold Can Stay” is imagery; a literary element defined as visually descriptive or figurative language. Throughout the poem, Frost uses vividly expressive words to help readers picture the things that he is talking about. In turn, readers can then take the mental picture created by the imagery, and relate it back to the theme of the poem; entropy (Little). One example of imagery is in line five where it says, “Then leaf subsides to leaf,” (Frost). This in-depth description of leaves falling from the braches they once were once attached to makes it easy for readers to actually picture what is going on in their heads. They can almost see the leaves falling in their minds. Being able to visualize the event that was described in the poem makes understanding that specific line of the poem, as well as its relation to the theme, much easier. Another example of the imagery used throughout the poem is in line seven, which says, “So dawn goes down to day,” (Frost). While this phrase may be worded a little strangely, it is actually describing a sunrise in the morning; an occurrence which represents the beginning of something new. Readers can then tie this description of the sunrise that is used in the poem with the idea of new experiences occurring in their lives. The imagery used in the poem helps readers connect the ideas that Frost is trying to get across with phenomenon that they are generally familiar with from their everyday lives, which allows them to better understand the theme of the work.
In addition, Frost also uses symbolism throughout the poem as a way to incorporate his them more forwardly into the poem without ruining the metaphors he has already created. For example, in line one it says, “Nature’s first green is gold,” (Frost). Frost does not actually mean that trees are suddenly growing golden leaves, but that the new life that is flourishing all around is precious; essentially, it is golden (Fagan). Another example would be the color green that is mentioned in the first line as it is usually related to nature and, in this instance, symbolizes fresh, new life and opportunities. Even the sunrise described in line seven that was previously mentioned is an example of symbolism, as it represents the start of something new. Frost employs symbolism from the very beginning of the poem all the way until the end as a way to introduce his theme to readers while also keeping the important, underlying metaphors he makes throughout the poem intact.
Additionally, Frost uses a pronounced rhythm in “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” in order to create a definitive sound, and even to create a bit of irony. Throughout the poem, Frost builds an almost nursery-rhyme like cadence with his use of a regular, rhythmic pattern (Little). This is partially due to the fact that the poem itself is actually compromised of four rhyming couplets or two lines of verse with the same meter and joined by rhyme. The end rhyme present all through the poem creates a sort of sing-songy effect on the whole. An example of this rhyming pattern is in lines one and two, since line one ends with the word “gold,” and line two ends with the word “hold,” which is a perfect rhyme; an element of rhyme that occurs when the final vowel and consonant sounds between two or more lines are identical. This childlike modulation is a bit of an ironic juxtaposition, considering the serious nature of the poem (Little). Moreover, the lines are all complete phrases, a trend that can be referred to as end-stopped. These end-stopped lines also help form the regular beat that is present throughout the entire work. The well-defined, almost lyrical rhythm that Frost uses until the end of the poem creates an incredibly distinct and memorable sound overall.
In his poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” Robert Frost employs multiple writing devices, including imagery, symbolism, and sound to drive home his message that entropy and death are inevitable, and that people should cherish the good things they have while they have them because, sooner or later, they will be gone. Everything has its time, and nothing will last forever. Things come and go faster than a blink of an eye, which is why it is so incredibly important to not take the experiences, people, and things that we value for granted. Just like the sunrise or the freshly grown leaves on the trees that are described in the poem, even the most beautiful things in life will eventually lose their beauty, so appreciate that beauty while it lasts.
A Study Of The Themes And Symbolism Used In Robert Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay
When something is “too good to be true”, it most likely turns out to be false. Yet, when analyzing the poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” written by Robert Frost, it goes deeper into something being “too good to be true” and brings out symbolic pieces of evidence. This evidence can, in turn, focus the reader on the implied themes throughout the poem.
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” has developed may themes such as that of peace. The way Frost wrote the poem gives the reader a sense of peace and unity between both the text and each symbolic fragment of the text. When analyzing the first line, “Nature’s first green is gold,” right at the start, the reader is stricken with peace because Frost wrote the poem in the respective way as to depict nature’s first “green” or, appearance, as being gold. This may seem confusing at it states, “green is gold”, but the audience can imply that, in more literal terms, when first looking, or even thinking about nature in general, the readers may notice the color green, whether it be on trees, flowers, etc. This brings up the odd statement that nature’s appearance is actually gold. One may assume the meaning of the term “gold” can concur to the relationship between the sun and the plants. As the sun slowly drops down, changing the time of day to dawn, there is a moment when the leaves have the perfect amount of sunshine reflecting off of them, causing them to appear gold. Just as an individual may think the color of nature appears to be green, another can also see the appearance of nature in a different way such as, gold.
Although, the text mention nature’s appearance as “gold”, the connection of how its appearance turns “gold” and why it doesn’t stay “gold”, is implied throughout the entire poem. As mentioned before, when the crack of dawn comes, sunshine hits the leaves making them appear to be “gold”. This only happens for a moment. That is why the author wrote, “Her hardest hue to hold”, hence the relations to why the “gold” appearance only lasts for moments on end. There is a form of personification introduced in the text when stating, “Her hardest hue to hold”. Frost referred to nature in general as a woman, along with the fact that nature was trying to hold on or grasp the color of the leaves for a longer time then capable. This personification also has a symbolic meaning to the text, as nature is depicted as wanting to grasp the beautiful scenery of gold that was brought upon the earth.
The author is also able to use imagery very well in this poem, as it states, “So Eden sank to grief.” For many people, they would make the connection to The Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was a paradise earth until sin was brought to the world, and it became off limits and nothing more than the rest of the world. The Garden of Eden Symbolizes the aspect of something being “too good to be true.” When Eden was first brought upon the earth, all around was a paradise, a beautiful paradise. Just as “Eden sank to grief”, one can imagine that, that would be how an individual would feel if something so beautiful and close to their hearts was no longer obtainable to those individuals. This also hold s a symbolic message in the text showing that The Garden of Eden symbolizes anything beautiful or great. Frost also included in the last two lines that, “dawn goes down today”, meaning the moments of beauty are not able to last forever as the dawn goes down the reader realizes, “Nothing gold can stay.”.
The symbolism used in this piece of text is specific to one detail. Anything that would be considered “gold” is not going to last forever. One can relate this to biological terms and can consider life to be “gold”, as the human race has its imperfections and are unable to obtain everlasting life, “so dawn goes down” on humans. This beautiful poem allows the reader to think of anything they have loved and lost, and creates a symbolic dimension full of all the sorrows in the world. As Frost wrote, “Nothing gold can stay.”
How Robert Frost Uses Stylistic Devices In His Poem Nothing Gold Can Stay
The poem, Nothing Gold can stay by Robert Frost has a myriad of meanings that can be derived from a careful analysis of the themes and stylistic devices used by the author. Some of the examples that have been applied to inform the audience on various matters include Garden of Eden, sunrise, and spring blooms. The eight lines piece of literacy work resolves around the temporary nature of beauty and depicts that aesthetic values linked to a product are a factor of time. The poem can be linked to modern-day activities such as the euphoria that comes as a result of winning a soccer game, an incredible experience that fades pretty fast. Robert Frost in the poem Nothing Gold Can Stay, uses stylistic devices to communicate various themes that are of particular importance to the audience in every cycle of human development.
The theme of transience is evident in the entire poem and the author makes every word count through the emphasis he places on this central subject. Robert Frost insists that the most valued things in this world often have a minimal longevity. The author alludes to spring blooms with an objective of getting this subject across and by so doing, the audience is left thinking about all parameters in the world that are so dear and transient. For example, the poet says that the greeneries of nature most attractive and that the Garden of Eden was the most valuable place to live. Nevertheless, neither of these pretty things survived the test of time. The word “gold” is strategically selected by the poet to symbolize all things that appear beautiful to the eye but are prone to deteriorate as a consequence of the inevitable bummer (time). The setting of the poem also speaks volumes on the theme of transience. Robert Frost places the audience strategically in the gold radiance of a spring sunrise while depicting that it is critical to comprehend that such beauty is only provisional. The poet mentions the Garden of Eden with an objective of creating a site that the audience can relate to the biblical paradise, with golden twigs of willow trees.
Robert Frost uses various stylistic devices to pass across the theme of man and the natural world. The setting and the subject of the poem are centered on the natural universe and the various types of valuable products, which are compared to gold, particularly the contentment, the peace, and the colors. The poet uses the biblical Garden of Eden, leaves, flowers, and sunrise as an imagery of nature and how it correlates to humanity. Robert Frost successfully uses nature as a metaphor since sense the poem is concerned about the human world and not the natural ecosystem. Nevertheless, when the audience first reads the poem, money pops out as the first thought, contrary to nature, which is the central subject of the literary work. For instance, the very mention of the word “gold” goes beyond the scope of an environment full of trees to finance, to the symbolism of the philosophy of value and wealth. The theme of man and the natural world is also passed across to the audience through the use of allusion, particularly the biblical Garden of Eden, which is used to create a setting with a beautiful environment with trees, a myriad of colors, and spring blooms.
Robert Frost uses allusion stylistic device to inform the audience on the theme of spirituality. Despite the fact that the Biblical Garden of Eden is alluded to in only a single line of the poem, its mention portrays various intents of the poet. The human complexity in the Garden makes the single line of the literary work capable of adding a myriad of meanings to the poem. In the context of the theme of spirituality, when Robert Frost says “nothing gold can stay” he is referring to human joy, innocence, and the blooms of the willow tree. Biblically, the Garden of Eden is depicted as a precocious environment with all that human beings require in order to be happy. Nevertheless, as a consequence of sin Adam and Eve were chased from the land that had pretty of flora and fauna at their disposal. In this regard, the fragility of goodness and innocence is depicted.
In conclusion, the poem, Nothing Gold can stay by Robert Frost has successfully used various stylistic devices to pass across themes that are of particular important to the audience in the modern day setting. Allusion, metaphor, and symbolism have dominated the eight lines piece of literacy work. The poet has alluded to the biblical Garden of Eden with an objective of informing the audience regarding the theme of spirituality. The word “Gold” has been used symbolically to represent the valuable goods in the universe. On the other hand, metaphor stylistic device has been applied to represent nature in the context of the human world. Ultimately, the poet has successfully integrated various stylistic devices to pass across the themes of man and the natural world, transience, and spirituality.
A Critique of Nothing Gold Can Stay, a Poem by Robert Frost
Robert Frost’s poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” is a short poem about many things. It is hard to imagine that Frost was able to include so many different topics in such a short poem. However, as Dana Gioia points out in his essay about this poem, he uses images that are natural, mythic, and theological. This makes the poem very popular to readers everywhere.
Frost includes many natural images in this poem. It first comes off as a poem that simply is talking about the way of nature. But taking another look, it is revealed that Frost is trying to show that nothing can last forever. This is shown when he says, “Her early leaf’s a flower, but only so an hour.” He originally describes nature’s leaf as “gold”, but here he says that it only lasts an hour. While the leaf begins as something good, it doesn’t last. This message is something that makes this poem appealing to readers.
Another type of image that Frost includes in the poem is mythic. Again, the reader is originally led to think that this poem is about nature at first glance. But once Frost says, “So Eden sank to grief,” it creates the mythical image. The idea of Eden, which is supposed to be the garden of perfection, experiencing grief over something like the leaves changing shows that there is more to this than nature taking its course and also emphasizes the overall idea that nothing can last.
The theological images that Frost includes also involve the mention of Eden. The mention of Eden provides the reader with a theological image, because it is known for being the garden of paradise to Adam and Eve. Gioia finds that bringing up Eden and comparing it to the leaf’s bloom only lasting an hour, and that “dawn goes down to day,” shows that Frost had the idea that while the moment of perfection is brief, and it won’t last, it is still very important. It is important because of how briefly it will last. This message is another reason as to why the poem is popular.
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” is a poem that is quite short, but has a lot of different meanings and ideas. Dana Gioia interpreted the poem to have a lot of different images. Some images Gioia thought this poem included were natural, mythical, and theological. By including these images in his poem, this poem was quite popular to the readers because they stressed the overall idea that while nothing can last forever, the small moment of perfection that someone can experience, is important.
Death is the Greatest Blessing But Also the Greatest Tragedy (in Blackwater Woods, Nothing Gold Can Stay, Out, Out-)
Loss is something that is felt by everyone, but the way it is dealt with differs from person to person. Some people will spend time reminiscing over happy memories about what they lost, others will ignore the fact that someone is gone, and others will love and appreciate the person more when they are gone. The effects of death are represented throughout the poems, In Blackwater Woods written by Mary Oliver, Nothing Gold Can Stay written by Robert Frost, and Out, Out also written by Robert Frost. Each of these poems shine a different light upon death. They are all effective in their own way, but the most effective is Out, Out- because it portrays how someone can be alive and happy but in the next moment, they are gone.
Everyone has a personal way of expressing the misery they are forced to withstand. Most of the time, this sorrow is thrown unexpectedly into their path and is impossible to avoid. People who have lost someone or something very close to them often seem to be looking for something. In a way they can seem lost, but on the other hand they will seem like they have found something they have never known. This feeling of anscence is exhibited in Mary Oliver’s poem, In Blackwater Woods. From the beginning of the story readers can tell she is mourning the loss of something, in her case it is a forest. Oliver writes, “Everything I have ever learned in my lifetime leads back to this.” People are taught to love and appreciate others their whole lives, but what are they to do when what they love is gone? The truth is that there is nothing anyone can do when a loved one dies. Mary Oliver tells readers to, “Let it go.” Her approach to death seems more embracing than anything else.
The descriptions of the forest that is caught on fire do more than just depict it as burning. These descriptions such as, “rich fragrance of cinnamon and fulfillment” (Oliver), “cattails bursting and floating away over the blue shoulders” (Oliver), and “pillars of light” (Oliver), show how much she genuinely loved this forest. Readers can infer that the ‘forest’ Oliver discusses is not just a simple forest, but rather, a loved one that she has lost. Loss is something no single person could ever fully understand and she depicts this fact perfectly. The journey through life includes love, loss, and acceptance. People often love a lot of the things they come across in their lifetimes. They’re introduced to someone and learn to love them. As life goes on, they will lose the person, either from dying themselves or losing the person they love. When this occurs one of the people who are grieving will have to come to terms that they lost someone very important. This is acceptance and with acceptance, often comes peace of the mind and optimism.
Seeing the world in an optimistic light can change the way someone portrays beauty. Mary Oliver has an embracing tone throughout In Blackwater Woods, she appreciates whatever she has lost. Rather than feeling miserable about what she has lost, readers are shown that she was grateful that this ‘forest’ was a part of her life. As many people say, it is better to have something and cherish and love it rather than never having it at all. Mary Oliver is embracing the natural course of life, “Oliver’s visionary goal, then, involves constructing a subjectivity that does not depend on separation from a world of objects. Instead, she respectfully confers subject hood on nature, thereby modeling a kind of identity that does not depend on opposition for definition.” (McNew). The goal of this poem is to show that through the natural course of a forest fire, so many emotions can be brought into one person. People need to learn to love what they have, before it disappears and they have nothing.
There is a point in the poem when readers infer that it may not be as optimistic as it seemed at first glimpse. Mary Oliver seems to have almost no hope, “no matter what its name is, is nameless now.” Everyone lives and dies, and many people get forgotten. These forgotten souls become nameless beings; they are literally nothing. This moment relates to a moment that occurs in the poem Out, Out-, when Robert Frost writes, “Little — less — nothing!” It is very sad that people that communicate and love someone every single day can forget said person. When these people slowly get forgotten, they become nothing.
What makes In Blackwater Woods such an effective poem is this quote: “You must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the times come to let it go, to let it go” (Oliver). To love what is mortal means loving something that someone knows they could lose during any waking moment. A mortal is something that is alive and everything that is alive dies eventually. Maure Smith states, “Oliver gives her readers a glimpse at the salvation of life in this world, but she insists that we “must be able / to do three things’.” Death is inevitable and instead of being miserable that someone is gone, it is better for someone to embrace the fact that this person was ever involved in their life. After all, death is one of the chapters of life that everyone will experience eventually because it is inevitable.
Death is a perfectly normal part of nature, everything must endure the wrath of death. According to Jean Alford, “To Oliver, man’s inward struggles to be immortal through art, work, or love do not cancel mortal existence but rather create a fleeting sense of stay.” Oliver is accepting of death. She knows her place in the natural cycle of life and knows that death is inevitable. Death can be seen as a blessing because of how it teaches people to appreciate what they have, while they still have it.
Robert Frost’s approach to death is much like Mary Oliver’s in his poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay. It has an appreciative tone, but more importantly, the point Frost is trying to get across is that nothing can stay new or perfect forever. Everything that is wonderful will eventually change. Life is included in this, it is beautiful, but extremely short. This poem also embraces and encourages change. People should accept change, it is not a decrease in value. It is the door to a fuller life with greater light.
The leaf that Frost mentions in the beginning of the poem is a symbol for life. Robert C. Evans states, “In most plants, of course, leaves endure much longer than a mere hour, but Frost exaggerates to emphasize the undeniable point that change and decay cannot be stopped. Frost uses the older meaning of the verb subside when he states that ‘leaf subsides to leaf’ (l. 5), and once again the swiftness of the poem’s movement contributes to (and reinforces) its meaning.” When leaves start to show in the spring season they are perceived as gold. They are victims of time and before long, they are gone. These leave are a symbol for life. When babies are born they are new and fresh, just like the season of spring. As these babies grow into children, teenagers, and finally adults they fade into death because they are victims of time. Readers can infer that after a certain moment, the world may not seem perfect anymore. Frost writes, “So Eden sank to grief, so dawn goes down to day” [sic]. Eden, which is the Garden of Eden from the book of Genesis in the Bible is the perfect garden that God created for Adam and Eve to reside in. “Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground — trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (Genesis 2). Adam, Eve, and all of the rest of God’s beautiful creation could live in peace without any pain. If Eden is sinking down into grief that must mean the world is disparaged. The world is not perfect anymore. Nothing can stay perfect forever nor can anything stay new forever. This includes humans, people will age and soon after, they will die.
The fleeting beauty in the world are humans because beauty is fleeting, just like life. Beauty can be represented by two things in the poem, it can mean literally a “combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight” (Merriam-Webster) or it can represent life. These beauties of life are being destroyed. People massacre one another on what seems to be a daily basis, destroying human innocence. People have become numb to the words of death and destruction. Through news outlets and videos it seems to becoming a more daily occurrence to see school shootings on the television screen.
More recently there was a video recorded by a New Zealand terrorist who killed Muslims live on Facebook while they were trying to worship. This perfectly depicts what Robert Frost is describing here, “So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay” (Frost). The man first seen in the video that was about to be murdered utters the words, “hello brother” (Jazeera), while staring down the shooter. He had everything to lose, but instead of reacting in anger or fear he greets the man like he would anyone, with a smile and a warm welcome. This exact moment is almost blissful amidst the chaos. The beauty in his words shows how people can be good in even the most frightening of situations. Humans are like gold but nothing stays gold forever, everything will be tarnished eventually.
Eden sinks down to grief in this horrific video. The people in that church were in a place of safety, “But only so an hour” (Frost) because what happens next is indescribable. The man with the gun proceeds to shoot and kill people in their most vulnerable form, while they are worshipping their God. Nothing good in the world can ever stay and it is because of the people themselves. Taking everything good or ‘gold’ from the world and ruining it. Frost’s poem is effective because while the poem is very short, it gets an extremely large point across: Life is fleeting, just like the beauty of brand new spring leaves on a tree.
The poem, Out, Out- that is also written by Robert Frost relates to Nothing Gold Can Stay because they both have themes revolving around the fact that life is short. Out, Out- takes a slightly different approach to this concept. Robert Frost implies that someone can be here one second and be gone the next. No one is capable of knowing when another person will die, and that is why people are often scared of the thought of death. They also fear death because most people fear the unknown. It is impossible to know what happens after someone dies; no one knows where their soul goes. Religious people may feel a type of relief when a loved one dies. They know that their loved one went to heaven, or some type of afterlife.
People are often so caught up in their own lives that when someone dies, it quickly becomes unimportant to them. Susan S. Adams infers, “readers are given the family’s reaction — first shock; then a realistic acceptance of death,…Life on the farm must go on. Now that the boy is dead, there is “No more to build on there”; they return to their daily chores, building what they can and living their own lives.” The boy’s family immediately returns to their work, “And they, since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs” (Frost). The only problem with this line is that readers cannot tell whether or not the family members and friends of this boy actually cared about his death. But what else were they supposed to do except move on with their lives? They cannot bring him back to life and they should not be obsessing over the fact that he is gone. They have to move on with their lives even though it will be hard.
The truth is that there is nothing to do but move on when someone dies. Life will go on, it does not matter if someone is living or dead, “Little — less — nothing!” (Frost). Little by little, this person will mean less and less in everyday life. The exact color of their eyes will fade, the sound of their voice will fade, and the image of the dimples in their cheeks when they smile will fade. This will continue and less and less of this person will be remembered until they are forgotten and nothing is left of them, not even a memory. They go from everything, to a little, to less, and then finally to nothing.
When discussing the incident that occurs in Out, Out- Deirdre Fagan states, “It was all in the timing. There is a sense that the slightest change in the day’s events would have changed everything.” The boy was using a saw to chop wood and his hand slipped and he cut into his arm near his hand. Everything is about timing. While timing is just a concept created by the human mind, people would not even be alive if it were not for timing. Others would still be alive if not for timing. If the boy in the poem was given a break from his farm work, it is likely the boy would have never chopped off his hand or died. This is why timing is so extremely important in life. Timing can decide whether or not two people meet, if they get married, if one of them dies, if one of them gets into school, or gets a certain job. Timing is everything and it does not stop.
The topic of timing can be seen as irrelevant, considering it is a manmade concept. But something that is a physical object, rather than a concept, is a candle. Candles can be blown out, but a candle can also be used as a metaphor for life. When someone dies, this is God blowing out their candle. Robert C. Evans writes, “The title alludes to lines from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and thus foreshadows the work’s emphasis on the fleeting nature of human existence. In this case, that existence is especially fleeting, since the victim of accidental death is only a boy.” Throughout Out, Out- it is implied that life is similar to a candle; it is a brief candle that can be easily snuffed out. Anyone’s life can end in a second because it takes the simplest of things for someone to die. This poem is the most effective in portraying death because it shows how even by doing the most simple of tasks, something can go wrong and will change life forever.
It is also most effective because it portrays how tragedy is constantly around us but no one seems to genuinely care. There are many problems around the world that are going on right now. There are people who are starving or dying of thirst in Africa right now. There are mass shootings happening in schools multiple times a month. Homeless and hungry Veterans flood the streets of cities. Thousands of refugees from war stricken countries. Wars rage in the Middle East with no end of conflict in sight. Michigan is still facing a contaminated water crisis, and the opioid epidemic is appearing to grow larger everyday (McCarthy). The world is crumbling, and no one is batting an eye. People are so busy letting the social media become their real world that they are ignoring those who are in need of actual help. It is possible that people choose to ignore these things because the beauty of the soul cannot comprehend the evils of the world.
Though all of these poets know that death is inevitable, it is still felt in many different ways and portrayed effectively through the art of poetry. Death can be seen as something beautiful that teaches people to embrace and appreciate life like in the poem, In Blackwater Woods. Death can be a tool that teaches that while life is beautiful, it is very short, such as in the poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay. The most effective lesson taught about death is within the poem, Out, Out-. It is that life can be taken away at any moment, even while doing the simplest of everyday tasks. People take advantage of the fact that they have so many healthy living individuals in their lives. It is not often that they imagine what life would be like without them. Life is the most beautiful thing, but it is nothing if no one appreciates it and the only way to fully appreciate life is if loss through death is experienced.
- Adams, Susan S. Out, Out —. Masterplots II: Poetry, Revised Edition, Jan. 2002, pp. 1–3.
- Alford, Jean B. The Poetry of Mary Oliver: Modern Renewal Through Mortal Acceptance. Contemporary Literary Criticism, edited by Deborah A. Stanley, vol. 98, Gale, 1997.
- Al Jazeera. Hello, Brother: Muslim Worshipper’s ‘Last Words’ to Gunman. New Zealand News | Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, 16 Mar. 2019 “Beautiful.” Collegiate Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, 2016.
- Evans, Robert C. Nothing Gold Can Stay. Student’s Encyclopedia of Great American Writers, Volume 3, Facts On File, 2010.
- Evans, Robert C. Out, Out—. Student’s Encyclopedia of Great American Writers, Volume 3, Facts On File, 2010.
- Fagan, Deirdre. Out, Out—. Critical Companion to Robert Frost, Facts On File, 2007.
- Frost, Robert. Nothing Gold Can Stay. The Yale Review, October, 1923.
- Frost, Robert. Out, Out-. Mountain Interval, 1916.
- McCarthy, Joe, and Olivia Kestin Kestin. 11 Ongoing Tragedies That the World Has Forgotten But We All Need to Remember. Global Citizen, 30 Aug. 2017.
- McNew, Janet. Mary Oliver and the Tradition of Romantic Nature Poetry. Poetry Criticism, edited by Michelle Lee, vol. 75, Gale, 2007. Originally published in Contemporary Literature, vol. 30, no. 1, Spring 1989, pp. 59-77.
- Oliver, Mary. In Blackwater Woods. American Primitive. Back Bay Books, 1983.
- Smith, Maure. In Blackwater Woods. Student’s Encyclopedia of Great American Writers, Volume 5, Facts On File, 2010.
- The Bible. Genesis chapter 2 verse 8-9. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.
Nothing Gold Can Stay: Everything Comes to End
The world and everything in it is constantly changing; seasons change, times change, and people change. In life, there are numerous diverse processes that take place. Within those processes, there is a common factor that they share; they have to face inevitable changes. Nothing in this world is permanent or ineradicable. As time goes by, most oftenly, people do not appreciate what they have because they take it for granted, thinking it will last forever. Robert Frost, in his poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay, utilizes the comparison of nature to gold, the personification of nature, the connotation of the word ‘subsides’, and the allusion of the Garden of Eden, in order to bitterly suggest that nothing lasts forever.
Beginning with a simple statement, Frost proposes that, “Nature’s first green is gold” (Frost, line 1). This statement provides a vivid description for the readers as it shows that the sprouting viridescent leaves with their pale green color casts a gold-like tint when spring arrives. After a gruesome winter, the first sight of green and life that nature produces is during the spring season. Plants begin to sprout, trees begin to grow new leaves, and buds grow into flowers. This new miracle of growth is a beautiful and a priceless sight. Gold is one of the most valuable metals in the world. Since the early days, gold has been considered precious as it is used as a medium of exchange, as well as accessories such as necklaces and earrings. This metal, being so valuable to people allows the readers to comprehend that the beauty of nature’s first green is worth as much as gold. The comparison of nature’s first leaves to gold emphasizes the value and preciousness of the beauty of nature.
When Frost uses the personification of nature, he gives life to an inanimate “force.” Frosts writes, “Her hardest hue to hold” (Frost, line 3). Referring to nature as “Her” gives a motherly or womanly figure to nature. The “hue” of nature can be perceived as green by the readers as green is the quintessence color of nature. Frost is conveying that the green and lively leaves that spring brings cannot attain the bright color forever. The appearance that spring produces changes, unable to attain or “hold” its colors. Soon, the leaves will wilt and decay. When spring comes, it also goes as spring becomes summer. The beautiful greenish scenery that can be perceived soon starts to become dry and brownish under the summer heat. As summer changes to autumn, the scenery changes to fall colors as the leaves wilt and fall. Then, with a blanket of snow covering the earth, winter comes along. These metamorphoses show that “the joys of summer are brief, and the losses brought about by the fall (both seasonal and theological) are experienced in winter as a kind of spiritual death” (Liebman). Frost shows that even the most beautiful things are not resistant to change. But, readers can also conclude that with change, life can bring other beauties. Just as spring ends, summer, autumn, and winter come along to show their unique features; everything has its own beauties that follows.
Frost then compares leaves to flowers by stating, “Her early leaf’s a flower/ But only so an hour” (Frost, lines 3-4). He compares “Her” leaf to a flower to visually show how beautiful spring and everything it produces is. When trees regrow, they grow buds and leaves that are as beautiful as flowers. Green and lively, they represent a start of a new life. Then, Frost proceeds by stating that spring only blooms and lasts only for an hour. This statement, on the literal level, is untrue since spring cannot be reduce to a measly hour. Frosts uses this hyperbole in order to emphasize that time goes by fast. Time can slip through the hands and beautiful moments can fade in the blink of an eye. This shows his point that things do not stay the way they are forever and that they should not be taken for granted.
Frost states, “Then leaf subsides to leaf” (Frost, line 5). He uses the word “subsides” because it, “apply to the normal growing process, the increasing size, moving towards maturity”(Doyle). He could have used words such as expands, grows, and enlarges, but he chooses the word “subsides” to evoke the connotation that it has. When the readers see the word “subsides” they are allowed to concluded that it is a slow and improved process. This line describes how the first leaves of spring are evolving and maturing. It can be seen that innocence is lost throughout the process of growth. The delicate and youthful qualities of the leaf is lost as it grows and is replaced with new leaves. The cycle repeats and a similar but different process starts anew. As the leaves are maturing and advancing, it can be compared with the life of a human. When one is born, they grow and lose their innocence throughout the process and they become mature and advanced. Through the path of maturation, one experiences life and the soon the experiences comes to an end. Everything that lives eventually dies in the cycle of life. Although this is seen as downfall, there is hope as one’s offsprings flourishes like new leaves that grow after winter. Frost shows that there is beauty and comfort in how the end of something brings another beautiful new start.
Frost alludes to the biblical Garden of Eden to evoke his point that nothing lasts forever. He writes, “So Eden sank to grief” (Frost, line 6). In the Bible, the ever famous story of Adam and Eve can be told. God placed Adam and Eve, the first humans, to nurture the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was an epitome of nature, representing peace and paradise. Humans seemed to have everlasting life but, once the forbidden fruit was eaten, “ the archetype of golden youthfulness and innocence was soon lost before the onslaught of the properties of the tree of knowledge” (Doyle). With the perfect paradise that offered eternal life and happiness, it seemed as though it would last forever. But, with the disobedient actions Adam and Eve took, the punishment of misery that humans know today were placed upon them and their descendants. Humans now have to fend for themselves and survive to be able to live. This downfall of humanity reveals that a paradise such as the Garden of Eden can be lost from the grasp of humankind. Adam and Eve had everything that they needed, but like humans today, they took it for granted and they let it slip away at the palm of their hands. Even though these unfortunate events cannot be altered, readers can conclude that there is hope because where there is an end, there is a beginning. This allusion emphasizes that if something so divine can be lost and shattered, then anything can be lost and nothing is promised or permanent.
In life, all animate and inanimate things meet their end sooner or later. It is an inevitable fate because everything that starts eventually ends, but often times, the cycle repeats and repeats. Humans, even if they are not aware, are always in a constant race against time. Although a situation might be ideal, it can end abruptly. Often things are not appreciated for what they are worth and are only valued when it is gone. Nothing in this world lasts forever. But, when the sun goes down, it comes back up and a new day starts. As leaves and flowers wilt and fall, they regrow to repeat another cycle. When humans perish, they leave a bloodline that multiples and expands. Nicolas Poussin once stated, “We have nothing that is really our own; we hold everything as a loan.”
The Two Poems by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay and Fire and Ice
In Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost conveys many messages. The poem is, on the surface, about nature and the changing of the seasons. If you go deeper into the meaning of the poem you will find a different theme of innocence. Frost relates the idea of innocence to nature. He also uses personification to address his point. The biggest message in the poem for me is that nothing good lasts forever. Time passes by quickly and if you don’t hold onto the good things in life you will lose hope and happiness. Innocence doesn’t last forever. Life doesn’t last forever. He tells the reader that they need to hold onto the good things in life because they will not be there forever.
Robert Frost uses metaphors to express the theme of the poem. He relates “nature’s first green is gold” to innocence. Innocence is the first green in the poem. It is golden and should be valued and cherished. He uses an allusion to the first people Adam and Eve when he says “So Eden sank to grief.” Adam and Eve’s sin against God took away their innocence and their punishment because of that was to be kicked out of the garden of Eden. Man had to learn and deal with the harsh realities of the world. He lost his childhood innocence and had to grow up and accept the consequences of his actions. He used figurative language in “Her early leaf’s a flower.” He blurs the line between leaves and flowers to show that the change happens quickly. A flower on a tree leads to a leaf. He used personification to relate Nature to a female.
The tone of the poem starts out soft but leads into a sad truth. The shift between the two happens in the line, “but only so an hour.” This line tells of how the good only last for a short time. It gives the idea of longing, in that wishing the good would stay forever. This ties into the theme that nothing good lasts forever. If it did what would it’s value be. Frost wants you to think about the good in your life and to tell you to hold onto it.
The title of the poem is also the last line. I believe that the title expresses the theme of good things ending. Gold is valuable but it is also malleable. Gold can be made into other things. Good things can change, and will. The overall theme of the poem is that nothing lasts forever.
In the poem Fire and Ice Robert Frost talks about the end of the world. He uses fire to represent passion and ice to represent hate. The theme of the poem is that too much passion or too much hate will lead to our downfall. He causes the reader to think about the end of the world. To question whether the world will end because of passion of because of hate.
Frost relates fire to passion because it is hot and hasty and quick. He relates ice to hate because it is harsh and cold. Both are very powerful but in drastically different ways. “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.” He says that the world will end either by the hands of Fire or by Ice. I think that Fire and Ice aren’t just related to feelings but as groups/sides of people. Some people are very passionate while others are very cold and harsh. Each person has different sides. We all feel hate sometimes yet we also all feel passion for something. Passion or hate can control us, and if we let them it will ultimately lead to our downfall. He uses metaphors to express this idea.
In the line “from what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire,” he tells the reader that he would choose fire. He says that he would because of what he has experience from desire. Desire and passion are closely linked. “Tasted of desire” is an example of imagery. It puts the thought of desire as a tangible thing in your mind. The poem also has a lot of imagery and it makes you think of how the world will end. It also has personification, relating fire and ice to human emotions.
The attitude of the poem is very dramatic. It is dramatic because it expresses the idea that the world will end and it will either be by fire or by ice. The tone is destruction. The whole poem is about whether the world will be destroyed by fire or by ice. The tone/focus of the poem changes in the line “but if it had to perish twice.” He changes the focus of the poem from fire to ice. He plays on the contrast between fire and ice. Another view of the tone is ironic yet accepting. In the last line of the poem there is a lot of irony because he says “and would suffice” yet the whole poem is about great destruction. Suffice is to downplay the importance of the destroyers.
The title of this poem addresses the main parts of it, fire and ice. They are opposites yet together they can balance each other out. The overall theme of the poem is the power of human emotions. Passion and hate can lead to great or horrible things. When I first read the title I thought of fire and ice in the literal sense. Now to me the words mean what they are used to represent in the poem; passion and hate.
Similar Ideas of Ozymandias and Nothing Gold Can Stay Poems
Impermanence is not an unfamiliar concept to humanity. All life ages and dies and even the material humanity uses to enhance life, fades away. It’s no shock then that poetry often touches on this topic because poetry is the artistic depiction of life and its events. For example, Ozymandias by Percy Shelley and Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost both portray the idea of impermanence through elements of rhyme, metaphor, and alliteration.
Alliteration is often used to create musicality in poetry. Shelley’s reflective sonnet uses alliteration to not only enhance musicality but to give a sense of strength to the bold statue of Ozymandias. The poem forces the reader to enunciate the line, “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert,” (Shelley) by emphasizing on the letter “s” and “l”, two soft letters that, when lack in emphasis, sound like mush. Because they sound like mush when alliterated without emphasis, the reader is forced to enunciate, creating a strong effect. Furthermore, Shelley also describes the face of the statue as having “cold command” (Shelley). The poem now uses hard “c” which creates stone-like imagery. This use of alliteration emphasizes the strength of Ozymandias in order to make contrast against the disappointing end of the poem that reveals how even the strongest do not last forever.
Frost uses alliteration to add fluidity to Nothing Gold Can Stay. The alliteration in the poem starts with hard consonants as seen in the first line with “Green is Gold” (Frost) and then fades into soft consonants as seen with “Her hardest hue to hold” (Frost) and “So Eden sank…” (Frost) before returning to a hard consonant with “Dawn goes down to day” (Frost). This may seem like coincidence however the alliteration is used to enhance the poem’s sequence, beginning and tying up with hard consonants in a package of soft consonants. This very much resembles the changing of nature’s foliage as described in the poem, reminding the reader of the temporary nature of all life.
Both poets also use metaphor to portray the impermanence of existence. Frost’s first metaphor is nature, speaking of the foliage of the leaves and how its “first green is gold”, also describing that green is nature’s “hardest hue to hold”. In these two first two lines, he has already introduced an example of the mercurial state of life in a way that all individuals can find connection to. However, the poem does stick solely to the comparison of life and nature. Frost then adds a hint of biblical reference in there as well in the line, “So Eden sank to grief.” Eden is a strong metaphor for ephemeral life because in this line, Frost is bringing the spiritual and impalpable into his description. In the Torah, Eden is a perfect world from which human kind has been cast out from because Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. To many, Eden is a symbol of a perfect world that changed for the worse and a world that humanity must revive. Frost uses this reference to strengthen his argument, reminding the reader that even humanity’s sacred symbols of perfection are spoken of being temporary and easily changed.
Shelley, ironically being the romantic of the two, uses a much more blunt and cold metaphor for the ephemeral state of existence. The narrator tells of a statue of a king in the middle of the desert. The statue’s subject appears to be bold and strong and the pedestal it stands on reads, “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings, look on my works ye mighty and despair!” This statue is supposedly proof of a grand city that no longer exists as Shelley then goes on to describe that “Nothing beside remains.” And that besides the statue that tells of “mighty works” and two “vast and trunkless legs of stone,” there is nothing but the desert. Shelley uses this ruin as proof of the temporary state of not only the living, once powerful, Ozymandias, but the material as well through his description of the lone statue and how it is the only evidence of the city that once was. The poem furthermore reminds the reader, through Ozymandias’ bold declaration of “mighty works” that nothing lasts forever no matter how strong it is at the time of its bloom.
Even Shelley’s rhyme scheme tells of temporary existence through its inconsistent pattern. While Frost’s rhyme pattern in Nothing Gold Can Stay appears to be more for the fluidity of the poem than the portrayal of ephemerality, Ozymandias starts with a rhyme scheme which changes from perfect rhyme to subtle half rhyme before staggering back to a perfect rhyme in the end. This idea of recycling word pattern is also seen in Frost’s poem. However, while Frost uses alliteration to resemble nature, Shelley speaks of man and material, reminding the reader that the foliage of leaves is not the only life that repeats in various ways. Shelley speaks of the ruin of Ozymandias’ civilization but through recycling his rhyme scheme within the poem, is he not hinting at the relevance of this ruin to civilization today? While empires and nations of the world seem to thrive today as though they will last forever, Shelley reminds his readers that everything is impermanent. Ozymandias thought his city would last forever but now it is nothing more than marked lifeless land. Perhaps through rhyme, Shelley foretells a future where the nations thriving today will be nothing more than desert. As morbid as this may be, Ozymandias may be more than informative about the temporary state of life. Perhaps Shelley reminds his readers to be grateful for what is in the present for in the future; it may not be there to be appreciated.
Perhaps neither poet writes on the ephemerality of existence to make one feel gloomy but to point out the mistake many make of taking the present for granted. Shelley and Frost, though different in style and century, speak on the same topic. However, there is a possibility that these poems are not to be seen in a morbid light but in an uplifting light instead. Hiding behind the blunt truth of existence remains a moral lesson of appreciation that Shelley and Frost both portray through different uses of the same literary elements. Life is ephemeral and therefore, humanity must appreciate it in the moment instead of complaining about how it will not last. Carpe Diem!
Poetry of Robert Frost
Robert Frost was a modern poet of intelligence and versatility. He went back and forth between careers before becoming a successful writer. Frost explored working as a teacher, cobbler, newspaper editor, and farmer. Things for Robert Frost weren’t always easy: “After the death of his father from tuberculosis when Frost was eleven years old, he moved with his mother and sister, Jeanie, who was two years younger, to Lawrence, Massachusetts”(“Robert Frost”).His mother then moved Frost and his family to Massachusetts. Later in life Frost married his high school sweetheart, and had several children. Down the road Frost also lost his older sister, his wife, and three of his children, one to suicide. Robert Frost as a man has been through a lot but this is what also makes frost a good writer. Frost saw that life is ever changing, short, and tooto often unappreciated which he beautifully sums up in his poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”.
In the first line, Robert Frost puts meaning into just how much life changes “Nature’s first green is gold”. Green represents something new, gold represents “Maturation that only last a few days”(Freeman 130). Frost demonstrates in the first stanza his fascination for the theme of ever changing life. Nature finds rebirth in new green: “In the cultures of the west the color green is associated with natural growth and change, particularly the early stages of natural growth and change”(Freeman, 130), to being mature. Frost explores the fact that the beauty in everything fades as it ages. This new green takes the ravage of time in his fourth stanza “But only so an hour.”(4) After the initial stages of early growth, the life of the plant becomes mature, but less beautiful. This does not mean that it’s ending but that with time it becomes less beautiful. Frost also finds in the ravages of time further evidence of life’s ever changing qualities. In the Fourth stanza he writes: “But only so an hour./So dawn goes down to day.”(4 &7). In these stanzas frost is not talking about an end but of a period of time. In dawn there are many colors one of which is gold, also representing the change in time. Freeman states that, “the flower seems to be the golden bud’s natural product [but in time] the flower ‘subsides’ (Freeman 130) .In addition an hour also represents the change of life over time. Sixty minutes can be broken down into five times twelve. “Twelve is a symbol of cosmic order. It also represents of space and time. Time is normally measured in two groups of 12 hours.”(Meaning of Numbers). These all depict change, whether it is in life or in time.
Equally as important is the symbolism used in Frost poems to depict just how short life is. In his seconds stanza of “Nothing Gold Can Stay” Robert Frost writes “Her hardest hue to hold.”(2) Just within this stanzas’ Frost interprets life as just a moment. Richard Cureton states that Frost related to the meaning of loss with, “Most critics claim  it’s message of inevitable loss of “first fruits”, it’s poignant ironies and it’s dense linguistic patterning that connecting meaning into tight relationships” (Cureton, 38).In that moment, we can appreciate the meaning of “Natures first green” (1). However, it can be lost just as quickly. Natures first green being pure in nature along with the word “Hue”(2) which in art represents a pure color, something without Shade or tint. Purity and innocenceinnocent in life is always lost. Which would explain why In Frost‘s poem “Her”(2) representing nature which is trying to “hold”(2) onto this purity. You hold things with your hand which symbolizes power, in the bible it is stated that “Their inhabitants were short of hand, they were dismayed and put to shame” (Isaiah 37:27) Being short of hand in this means short of power. Power is also something that is short lived; from the King Tut in Egypt, to Princess Diana in England. BothBo h had short lives and only reigned with their power of rule for a short while. Along with loss of purity, Frost also lets on to the permanent loss of innocence when he speaks of “Eden”(6). Eden representing the “ biblical garden of Eden where Adam and Eve permanently lost their innocent” ( Genesis 14) and werewhere forced out of the garden forever. Frost more than anybody can understand and relate the feeling of losing precious life, due to the death of his beloved wife “Elinor Miriam White  who was a major inspiration until her death in 1938” (Robert Frost). In the blink of an eye everything he ever cherished, just like the nature in the poem, came to an end.
In addition to the constantly changing quality and transience of time Frost managed to realize nature’s mundane details that are often unappreciated and sometimes taken for granted. Robert Frost attention to these details in “Nothing Gold Can Stay” is how he see’s nature: “Then leaf subsides to leaf.”(5). The literary symbolism for leaves in Michael Ferber’s symbolic dictionary refer to leaves as “vast” (271). Something with this much density normally goes unseen. Not a single human being can sit and admire each and every single shape and color of a thousand leaves on one single tree. Leaves having multiple colors such as: orange, brown, green, red, and even purple. Frosts consciously paired all these colors, which represent the demand for attention and everything royal in nature an earth. Earth being used and dried up by human greed and need for resources. Frost saw the unappreciative nature of man and composed that feeling into his poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” with Stanza six “ So Eden sank to grief”. Grief is a fleeting feeling that only last for some time. Even in the 1800’s a family would wear black after a death only for a year. A year is not forever. Even the color black which they wore for mourning represents the detachment of something. Robert Frost was interpreting through his symbolism that the most beautiful things in nature and in life are rarely appreciated until they dissipate. We as humans don’t forget, but the feelings that we feel do subside and vanish. Frost recognized this along with the shortness and changes in life. Frost then persisted to make a poem out of not only in his own life, but in that of what he saw in nature as well .
Roberts Frost experience in life such as, the loss of his family and the change in his career, helped him see the beauty of nature in a different light. The interpretation of his symbolism in “Nothing Gold Can Stay” can leave a reader guessing the meaning from a narrow to a vast expanse. His skills at interpretation of theme and symbolic meaning are perfectly honed in his poem as well. Not only did Frost perfectly express the always changing, shortness, and over looked beauty in life with his poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. He also framed his poem form beginning to end with “Two repetitive patterns [that] interact to lend a strong frame”(freeman 130). These are the marks of a skilled and intelligent writer. Any student reading Robert Frost work can take away his interest and love in nature. Which is where Frost saw the opportunity to write about life and it’s ever changing, short, and to often unappreciated beauty with the creation of “Nothing Gold Can Stay”.
Nothing Gold Can Stay and the Outsider: What Do They Have in Common
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” Analysis Paragraph Report
In this poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” poet Robert Frost communicates the idea that nothing pure, innocent, or beautiful can stay preserved for long. He reveals the idea through the use of symbolism. In the first five lines of the poem, he is discusses nature and tells us that everything will eventually fade away and nothing will stay. He is comparing nature with our lives. “Her hardest hue to hold.” This quote from line 2 is telling us that gold, which is referring to purity and innocence, is very hard to keep and it will eventually go away. It is similar to our lives. Everything we have that we love or cherish will die, fade, or go away. Nothing can be preserved. In line 6, he uses allusion to help us understand the theme. Frost refers to the story of Adam and Eve and how they lost their innocence. “So Eden sank to grief.” I think he is telling us that everything will disappear. In the beginning, Adam and Eve had their purity and were innocent but after committing the sin, they lost that. This expands on the idea that everything that starts out golden doesn’t stay that way for long.
S.E. Hinton chose to reference this poem in her novel, The Outsiders, because both works of literature are similar in many ways. First, both poems discuss losing something or someone that is “golden.” Ponyboy, for example, has lost a lot in his life that was important to him. He lost his mother, who he describes as “golden and beautiful,” (48) and his father “in an auto wreck” (3). He lost his hair that he really “cherished.” Also, both poems have elements that talk about purity and innocence, which is referring to childhood in my opinion. I think S.E. Hinton is trying to tell us that you should enjoy your childhood for as long as you have it. I think that is one of her theme she is trying to stress, and maybe she uses the poem to support her theme. In your childhood, you are “golden” and innocent. The poem tells us that nothing gold stays for long. An example is Darry. He was more innocent and pure when his parents were alive than he is currently it the book. As Darry was exposed to the world, he became harder and colder. Referring back, the poem says in line 2 that “Her hardest hue to hold.” It is hard to hold on to the childhood, so S.E. Hinton is probably trying to tell us that you should enjoy it while it lasts. Although Ponyboy never quite got what the poem was about, S.E. Hinton is clearly connecting the message to the characters and the events in her novel, The Outsiders.