Robert Frost Poetry

Born on the day of March 26, 1874, in San Francisco, California, Robert Lee Frost was one of America’s most famous poets. Frost received four Pulitzer Prizes before he died in 1963. The first one in 1924 for New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes, then in1931 for Collected Poems, in 1937 for A Further Range, and the last on in 1943 for A Witness Tree. Married to Elinor Miriam White, who was his co-valedictorian at high school, he lived in various locations throughout his life, in San Francisco, California for the first ten years of his life, then moved to New England where he lived most of his years; he also lived in Great Britain for three years where he met Edward, T. E. Hulme and Ezra Pound. Pound would become the first American to write a review of Frost’s work; it was also in England that Frost wrote some of his best work. Robert Frost attended Dartmouth College, where he stayed for a little over a semester, and also Harvard University for two years. He was awarded honorary Litt. D. from Harvard, Bates College, Oxford, Cambridge, National University of Ireland, and Amherst College, and was also the first to be awarded an LL.D. from Dartmouth College (Gerber Chronology). In Robert Frost’s poems, the main themes usually had to do with nature such as: death, evil, creation, design, choices in life, and responsabilities. This is seen in the poems “The Road not Taken,” “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening,” “Acquainted With the Night,” “Mending Wall,” “Gathering Leaves” and “Design.”

In “The Road not Taken,” (written in 1916) Frost uses a rhyme scheme of ABAAB. He describes a traveler, the speaker in the poem, who has come to a fork in the road, both literally and metaphorically. The speaker looks down both paths to help him make the choice of which one to take. The only thing he notices between the roads is that apparently one has been less traveled than the other because “it was grassy and wanted wear.” He expresses a desire to know what is down both roads, but decides to use just one since he cannot be one traveler and walk two paths. He cheers himself with the possibility of returning one day to take the other road, but then doubts that he “should ever come back.” In the next to last line, the speaker reveals which road he has taken, “the one less traveled by;” it was the grassy, unworn one he describes in the beginning. Then in the final line of the poem, he expresses how important his decision was, that his choice “has made all the difference” in his life.
“The Road not Taken” metaphorically suggests how difficult it is to make a decision in one’s life. If by any chance you would like to go back on your decision, going back to the beginning is not always easy or an option. “The choice confronting the speaker symbolizes all of life’s choices” (Brown 2). In this poem Frost also confuses the reader by making the roads about the same, meaning that choosing is more on impulse than on reasoning. This is shown when Frost writes that the roads are worn “about the same,” and that they were both “equally lay/In leaves no step has trodden black” (Brown 1). It is implied that both roads have been traveled about the same, therefore leading to the conclusion that Frost wants to have things both ways in this poem to show the importance of the path you choose.

Much like “The Road not Taken,” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” (written in 1923) is also about decision making and continuing on a road. Frost uses a rhyme scheme of AABA BBCB CCDC DDDD, the third line of each of the first three stanzas predicts the predominant rhyme of the next stanza. In this poem, the narrator is traveling along a country road where he sees a wooded area. He stops and gazes at the calm, snowy scene, simply to consider and appreciate its beauty. He praises the “easy wind and downy flake” and describes the woods as “lovely, dark and deep.” By describing the woods with a combination of the words “lovely” and “dark,” Frost creates irony because how can something lovely be described as dark; darkness usally describes something evil and morose. Only his horse, who acts as if it were the speaker’s conscious, seems to have a problem with the unusual stop on the “darkest evening of the year.” This phrase tells the reader the time of year it is; Frost is refering to the longest night of the year which is the Winter solstice. The speaker then realizes he cannot delay much longer because he has “promises to keep.” This shows that he has to make a decision to actually continue on his way and goes back to the theme of making decisions in life, between an attraction toward the woods and the pull of responsibility outside of the woods. By repeating the line “And miles to go before I sleep” the speaker is not implying that it is going to be a burden, but that the ride home will be a pleasant one.

The speaker can also be contemplating the attraction to danger, the unknown, the dark mystery behind the woods. These woods act like the boundary between civilization and the wild and the only thing tying him to the society is the horse which has been domesticated. Stopping at the woods would be uncivilized because no sane person would actually stop in the middle of a snowy night to gaze at some woods. The way the speaker is attracted to these woods almost sounds as if he is talking about death, they are restful seductive, lovely, dark, and deep; like a deep sleep. This brings the reader back to thinking of nature, part of nature is dying and reproducing.

In the poem “Mending Wall” (written in 1914) Frost goes back to a description of a rural landscape where two neighbors are building a wall. In this poem Frost does not use any type of end rhymes but it still has rhythm and simplicity. The poem gives the reader two point of views, one of the speaker who does not like the wall and says “something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” and the neighbor who believes “good fences make good neighbors.” A fence in a good location provides privacy and a sense of security for the homeowner. In the poem when Frost writes of the gaps in the wall, he means to tell the reader to read between what is actually written, to analyze and read between the lines. When the speaker of the poem talks about the “frozen ground swell” that is a metaphor for “frost” (Dworkin 2). This is actually ironic because the only thing that will make the ground swell is rime-frost; one thing this poem is missing is rhyme and the writer is Frost (Dworkin 3). Frost makes the speaker seem like a hypocrite; he does not like the wall, yet he is building it with his neighbor. The speaker of the poem is a man who moves in a world of freedom and understands the imaginative power within the human mind. On the other hand, the neighbor is a person who is not aware of the value of imagination, but sticks to the traditional ways of his ancestors.

In lines 1-11 Frost uses imagery to describe how the wall is degrading little by little, creating a visual image for the reader. Then in lines 13-14 the speaker says “to walk the line” and “set the wall between us,” here he uses a metaphor that refers to the building of a tangible wall that marks the boundary of the neighbors’ properties. In “Mending Wall” Frost uses imagery, metaphors, and symbols to show that the close mindedness of the neighbor saying “good fences make good neighbors” is what devides and limits the relations between the speaker and the neighbor, just as closed mindedness divides and limits us as a people. Also when Frost writes “He moves in darkness not of woods only and shades of trees” shows the ignorance shown by many and fear of overcoming the idea of breaking tradition, of how it would be like not having a fence between the two. This wall between them represents their unwillingness to change.

In contrast with “Mending Wall” whose mood is cheerful and light-hearted, “Acquainted with the Night” (written in 1922) is gloomy, dark, and cold. “This poem asks its readers to analyze the allegorical aspects of the poem” (Amano 1). It is written as a terza rima sonnet which has a rhyme scheme of ABA BCB CDC DAD AA. Some of the figurative language used by Frost in this poem is: alliteration, repetition, symbolism, imagery and metaphors. Alliteration is seen in line 7, where four words start with the letter “s.” Repetition is seen in lines 1-5, 7, and 14 where “I have” is repeated. Some of the metaphors used are: the “clock” which is a metaphor for the moon, the “saddest” lane and the “cry” are representative of sorrow, and “rain” is some of the speaker’s problems. Imagery is seen in lines 2 and 3, “I have walked out in rain — and back in rain,” and “I have outwalked the furthest city light.”

Robert provokes readers to examine death and grief expressed in the poem. The speaker of the poem talks about the things he has seen and heard as he roams through the dark streets of the city, for example, when he says that he stops to listen for the interrupted cry that comes over the houses from another street. This is just another way of saying that nobody calls for him to come home. The speaker also talks about how he “outwalked the furthest city light” as if he has been so alienated from humanity that he has been in total darkness. He is a very lonely person. The word “night” in this poem does not represent a conventional symbol, rather the darkness of the night represents the symbols, form, and structure of a poem that no other poet has explored in the past (Amano 1). An example of this is in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” when the speaker describes the dark woods. It is traditional in poetry for “night” to represent evil, darkness, and loneliness. Frost uses this to make the reader feel the loneliness the speaker is going through. Line 3 of the poem tells the reader that Frost is trying out new techniques when writing this poem, but then line 2 says that he always comes back to using the traditional poetry. Another symbol in the poem is time, shown with the “watchman,” and in line 12 and 13. Lines 12 and 13 combined with line 6 tell the reader that the speaker is not willing to explain his urge to experiment. In this poem Frost explores the unknown in writing poetry but at the same time stays within the boundaries of traditional poetry (Amano 3). This is because this poem was written at the height of the American modernist movement, and he still wrote this poem in a terza rima sonnet, which shows how he decides to use form and tradition.

In the poem “Gathering Leaves” (written in 1923) Frost writes of a person who is obsessed with “leaves.” He spends all day collecting them just to end up with nothing at the end. As he talks about picking the leaves up, he says, “I may load and unload again and again till I fill the whole shed and what have I then.” The poem is made up of quatrains in which the first and third line rhyme and the second and fourth line rhyme. Frost uses similes such as: “Spades take up leaves/No better than spoons, /And bags full of leaves/Are light as balloons.” He is using this not only to describe the leaves as being weightless and dull, but also to tell the reader that there are things in this world that are not valued as much as they should be, one of those being nature. Another simile is in lines 5-8, “I make a great noise / Of rustling all day / Like rabbit and deer / Running away.” The noise the speaker makes is being compares to that of a rabbit and deer running away.

Frost takes his time to explain how the speaker will never finish picking up the leaves being produced because, “who’s to say where/The harvest shall stop?” This implies that this poem also relates to nature and life. Life’s harvest is nature reproducing itself naturally just like we humans and every other animal and plant do. We as humans reproduce by having babies but the greatest satisfaction comes from watching the babies (our harvest) grow up. In lines 13-16 when Robert says “I may load and unload/again and again/till I fill the whole shed, /and what have I then.” In this passage it really shows his futile efforts to obtain something significant. He also talks about when he tries to pick up the leaves, and they just fall right through his arms and back to the ground. This could represent when you actually try to depend on the leaves they fall through and you are left high and dry (Robson 5).

In the poem “Design,” (written in 1936) Frost considers human attempts to see order in the universe, and the human failures at perceiving the order that is actually present in nature. “Design” is a strict Petrarchan sonnet. It has iambic pentameter and a very limited rhyme scheme, ABBAABBA ACAACC, in which there are only three different rhymes (Marcus 152). The speaker of the poem tells of a white spider holding a dead moth on a white specimen of a normally blue flower. The whiteness and fatness of the spider imitate the innocence of a baby (Marcus 152). The characters of the poem are described as cheerful, but this becomes true only if looked from the perspective of a witch or something evil for which catastrophe and despair are normal things. Frost uses the simile “Like the ingredients of a witches’ broth” to suggest that the spider, flower, and moth are “assorted characters” that have been selected and put together for the purposes of creating something else. This raises the question of: What is evil? Isn’t evil just a perception or a different way to view things? What might be good for me can also be viewed as bad by a different person. Frost wants his audience to question the idea that life and death are predestined. The argument Frost creates is that if there is a design then, there has to be a designer, and since the example of design given is so terrifying and unjust, then there might be a chance that the designer is equally evil. According to the Bible and its teachings, the creator and designer of all living things is God who is thought of as the ultimate good in our world. This creates irony in the poem and in what Frost is implying. But also at he very end Frost says that design might also be inexistent for small things, which would raise the question of design for larger beings, or anything at all, since supposedly the designer governs all. Throughout most of the poem he sets the readers up for an easy but horrible answer, but then in the end by using the word “if” he makes the reader doubt the answer to the “designer.”

Works Cited

Amano, Kyoko. “Frost’s Acquainted with the Night.” The Explicator 65.1 (Fall 2006): 39(4). General OneFile. Gale. Miami-Dade County Public High Schools. 27 Sept. 2007
.

Brown, Dan. “Frost’s ‘Road’ & ‘Woods’ redux.(Robert Frost).” New Criterion 25.8 (April 2007): 11(4). General OneFile. Gale. Miami-Dade County Public High Schools. 27 Sept. 2007
.

Dworkin, Craig. “Critical Essay on ‘Mending Wall.’” Poetry for Students, Vol. 5, Gale, 1999. General OneFile. Gale. Miami-Dade County Public High Schools. 27 Sept. 2007
.

Gerber, Philip L., ed. Critical Essays on Robert Frost. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1982.

Marcus, Mordecai. The Poems of Robert Frost: An Explanation. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co. 1991.

Robson, W.W. “The Achievement of Robert Frost.” DISCovering Authors. Online ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resource Center – Gold. Gale. Miami-Dade County Public High Schools. 27 Sept. 2007
.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Allegory Of American Pie By Don Mc Lean

Ask anyone what was the defining moment in the rock history of the 1960s was and all you will get is a one word answer: Woodstock. The three day rock festival that defined an era was only one of many music festivals of the '60s. But Woodstock has come to symbolize, "an era of peaceful, free- loving, drug- taking hippie youth, carefree before harsher realities hit..." (Layman 40). The Woodstock festival ended a century filled with many metamorphoses of rock'n'roll, from the era of pop music to the rebirth of folk music to the invention of acid rock. But some cynics say that rock'n'roll died with the death of Buddy Holly before the 60s even began. One such person is Don McLean. The poet behind the haunting epic song about the death of 'danceable' music, McLean wrote the ever popular song, "American Pie" (appendix 1). The most important song in rock'n'roll history, "American Pie", is the song about the demise of rock'n'roll after Buddy Holly's death and the heathenism of rock that resulted. Although McLean himself won't reveal any symbolism in his songs, "American Pie" is one of the most analyzed pieces of literature in modern society. Although not all of its secrets have been revealed, many "scholars" of the sixties will agree that the mystery of this song is one of the reasons it has become so successful- everyone wants to know the meanings of its allegories. Proof of "American Pie's" truth lies in the allegory of the song. Many People enjoy the song but have no idea what it means- Who is the Jester? What is the levee? When the deeper story is found, the importance of the song is unearthed. "American Pie" is not only a song, it is an epic poem about the course of rock'n'roll...

Carl Orffs Philosophies In Music Education

While Carl Orff is a very seminal composer of the 20th century, his greatest success and influence has been in the field of Music Education. Born on July 10th in Munich, Germany in 1895, Orff refused to speak about his past almost as if he were ashamed of it. What we do know, however, is that Orff came from a Bavarian family who was very active in the German military. His father's regiment band would often play through some of the young Orff's first attempts at composing. Although Orff was adamant about the secrecy of his past, Moser's Musik Lexicon says that he studied in the Munich Academy of Music until 1914. Orff then served in the military in the first world war. After the war, he held various positions in the Mannheim and Darmstadt opera houses then returned home to Munich to further study music. In 1925, and for the rest of his life, Orff was the head of a department and co-founder of the Guenther School for gymnastics, music, and dance in Munich where he worked with musical beginners. This is where he developed his Music Education theories. In 1937, Orff's Carmina Burana premiered in Frankfurt, Germany. Needless to say, it was a great success. With the success of Carmina Burana, Orff orphaned all of his previous works except for Catulli Carmina and the En trata which were rewritten to be acceptable by Orff. One of Orff's most admired composers was Monteverdi. In fact, much of Orff's work was based on ancient material. Orff said: I am often asked why I nearly always select old material, fairy tales and legends for my stage works. I do not look upon them as old, but rather as valid material. The time element disappears, and only the spiritual power remains. My...

Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Throughout the history of music, many great composers, theorists, and instrumentalists have left indelible marks and influences that people today look back on to admire and aspire to. No exception to this idiom is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose impact on music was unforgettable to say the least. People today look back to his writings and works to both learn and admire. He truly can be considered a music history great. Bach, who came from a family of over 53 musicians, was nothing short of a virtuosic instrumentalist as well as a masterful composer. Born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685, he was the son of a masterful violinist, Johann Ambrosius Bach, who taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Along with this string playing, Bach began to play the organ which is the instrument he would later on be noted for in history. His instruction on the organ came from the player at Eisenach's most important church. He instructed the young boy rather rigorously until his skills surpassed anyone?s expectations for someone of such a young age. Bach suffered early trauma when his parents died in 1695. He went to go live with his older brother, Johann Christoph, who also was a professional organist at Ohrdruf. He continued his younger brother's education on that instrument, as well as introducing him to the harpsichord. The rigorous training on these instruments combined with Bach?s masterful skill paid off for him at an early age. After several years of studying with his older brother, he received a scholarship to study in Luneberg, Germany, which is located on the northern tip of the country. As a result, he left his brother?s tutelage and went to go and study there. The teenage years brought Bach to several parts of Germany where he...

Michelangelo

Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo?s poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing him. Michelangelo?s sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through it?s many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo?s main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves. The second level was to have statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active and contemplative life- representative of the human striving for, and reception of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the pope?s tomb when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV. The overall organization consists of four large triangles at...

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin Ireland on October 16, 1854. He is one of the most talented and most controversial writers of his time. He was well known for his wit, flamboyance, and creative genius and with his little dramatic training showing his natural talent for stage and theatre. He is termed a martyr by some and may be the first true self-publicist and was known for his style of dress and odd behavior. Wilde, 1882 His Father, William Wilde, was a highly accredited doctor and his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a writer of revolutionary poems. Oscar had a brother William Charles Kingsbury along with his father's three illegitimate children, Henry, Emily, and Mary. His sister, Isola Emily Francesca died in 1867 at only ten years of age from a sudden fever, greatly affecting Oscar and his family. He kept a lock of her hair in an envelope and later wrote the poem 'Requiescat' in her memory. Oscar and his brother William both attended the Protora Royal School at Enniskillen. He had little in common with the other children. He disliked games and took more interest in flowers and sunsets. He was extremely passionate about anything that had to do with ancient Greece and with Classics. Wilde during school years In 1871, he was awarded a Royal School Scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin and received many awards and earned the highest honor the college offered to an undergraduate, the Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, he also won the College's Berkley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford, Oscar moved to London with his friend Frank Miles, a well-known portrait painter of the time. In 1878 his poem Ravenna was published, for which he won the...

The History Of Greek Theater

Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE, with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death. Originally, the hero's recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others. As the Greeks grew toward city-states and colonization, it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by serving his city. The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was the supernatural. The two worlds were not separate, as the gods lived in the same world as the men, and they interfered in the men's lives as they chose to. It was the gods who sent suffering and evil to men. In the plays of Sophocles, the gods brought about the hero's downfall because of a tragic flaw in the character of the hero. In Greek tragedy, suffering brought knowledge of worldly matters and of the individual. Aristotle attempted to explain how an audience could observe tragic events and still have a pleasurable experience. Aristotle, by searching the works of writers of Greek tragedy, Aeschulus, Euripides and Sophocles (whose Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies), arrived at his definition of tragedy. This explanation has a profound influence for more than twenty centuries on those writing tragedies, most significantly Shakespeare. Aristotle's analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a work had on the audience as a "catharsis" or purging of the emotions. He decided that catharsis was the purging of two specific emotions, pity and...

Scholarship Essay About Goals

Ever since I was a young kid I have always been interested with aircraft. I was so curious of how airplane's fly. I remember taking my toys apart to see how it works. As a kid I wanted to go to the airport to watch the airplanes land and fly and pondered how this happens. Other kids wanted to go to the amusement places. As I grew older I became more and more interested in aircraft and the technology behind it. I always involved myself with aviation early on. I read books and magazines on aviation, took museum tours, built model airplanes. When I was younger my father would take me to aircraft repair facilities where I would watch in great fascination. In my teens, went up to the military bases and befriended many soldiers involved with aircraft and asked them numerous questions. I got to meet many aeronautics engineers and borrowed their old textbooks and read them till the wee hours of the morning. As technology improved with information superhighway, I logged on the web. Stayed up for hours and hours searching through web pages and web pages of information about aircraft and technology. I started my elementary school in the Philippines, then we moved to U.S. and continued my high school education and graduated. Enrolled at the CCSF to pursue my college education and now I am in the 2nd year in CCSF taking aeronautics. My goal now is to obtain my AS degree from the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) so I can transfer to a University and get a Bachelors degree and to continue for my Masters degree in Aeronautics Engineering. I will strive hard to reach the peak level of my career which is a Professor and hopefully to be an aeronautic professor so...

Circus Circus Enterprises Case Studies

Executive Summary: Circus Circus Enterprises is a leader and will continue to be in the gaming industry. In recent years, they have seen a decline in profit and revenue; management tends to blame the decrease on continuing disruptions from remodeling, expansion, and increased competition. Consequently, Circus has reported decreases in its net income for 1997 and 1998 and management believes this trend will continue as competition heightens. Currently the company is involved in several joint ventures, its brand of casino entertainment has traditionally catered to the low rollers and family vacationers through its theme park. Circus should continue to expand its existing operations into new market segments. This shift will allow them to attract the up scale gambler. Overview Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc founded in 1974 is in the business of entertainment, with its core strength in casino gambling. The company?s asset base, operating cash flow, profit margin, multiple markets and customers, rank it as one of the gaming industry leaders. Partners William G. Bennett an aggressive cost cutter and William N. Pennington purchased Circus Circus in 1974 as a small and unprofitable casino. It went public in 1983, from 1993 to 1997; the average return on capital invested was 16.5%. Circus Circus operates several properties in Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, and one in Mississippi, as well as 50% ownership in three other casinos and a theme park. On January 31,1998 Circus reported net income of 89.9 million and revenues of 1.35 billion, this is a down from 100 million on 1.3 billion in 1997. Management sees this decline in revenue due to the rapid and extensive expansion and the increased competition that Circus is facing. Well established in the casino gaming industry the corporation has its focus in the entertainment business and has particularly a popular theme resort concept....

Effect Of Civil War On American Economy

The Economies of the North and South, 1861-1865 In 1861, a great war in American history began. It was a civil war between the north and south that was by no means civil. This war would have great repercussions upon the economy of this country and the states within it. The American Civil War began with secession, creating a divided union of sorts, and sparked an incredibly cataclysmic four years. Although the actual war began with secession, this was not the only driving force. The economy of the Southern states, the Confederacy, greatly if not entirely depended on the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was heavily reliant on agriculture, and they used the profits made from the sale of such raw materials to purchase finished goods to use and enjoy. Their major export was cotton, which thrived on the warm river deltas and could easily be shipped to major ocean ports from towns on the Mississippi and numerous river cities. Slavery was a key part of this, as slaves were the ones who harvested and planted the cotton. Being such an enormous unpaid work force, the profits made were extraordinarily high and the price for the unfinished goods drastically low in comparison; especially since he invention of the cotton gin in 1793 which made the work all that much easier and quicker. In contrast, the economical structure of the Northern states, the Union, was vastly dependent on industry. Slavery did not exist in most of the Union, as there was no demand for it due to the type of industrial development taking place. As the Union had a paid work force, the profits made were lower and the cost of the finished manufactured item higher. In turn, the Union used the profits and purchased raw materials to use. This cycle...

Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of Trade Embargoes

Although I am a strong critic of the use and effectiveness of economic sanctions, such as trade embargoes, for the sake of this assignment, I will present both their theoretical advantages and their disadvantages based upon my research. Trade embargoes and blockades have traditionally been used to entice nations to alter their behavior or to punish them for certain behavior. The intentions behind these policies are generally noble, at least on the surface. However, these policies can have side effects. For example, FDR's blockade of raw materials against the Japanese in Manchuria in the 1930s arguably led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which resulted in U.S. involvement in World War II. The decades-long embargo against Cuba not only did not lead to the topple of the communist regime there, but may have strengthened Castro's hold on the island and has created animosity toward the United States in Latin America and much suffering by the people of Cuba. Various studies have concluded that embargoes and other economic sanctions generally have not been effective from a utilitarian or policy perspective, yet these policies continue. Evaluation of the effectiveness of Trade Embargoes Strengths Trade embargoes and other sanctions can give the sender government the appearance of taking strong measures in response to a given situation without resorting to violence. Sanctions can be imposed in conjunction with other measures to achieve conflict prevention and mitigation goals. Sanctions may be ineffective: goals may be too elusive, the means too gentle, or cooperation from other countries insufficient. It is usually difficult to determine whether embargoes were an effective deterrent against future misdeeds: embargoes may contribute to a successful outcome, but can rarely achieve ambitious objectives alone. Some regimes are highly resistant to external pressures to reform. At the same time, trade sanctions may narrow the...