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Figures of a Changing WorldMetaphor and the Emergence of Modern Culture$
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Harry Berger, Jr.

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257478

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257478.001.0001

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Frost and Roses

Frost and Roses

The Disenchantment of a Reluctant Modernist

Chapter:
(p.68) Seven Frost and Roses
Source:
Figures of a Changing World
Author(s):

Harry Berger

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823257478.003.0007

This chapter claims that Robert Frost writes as a reluctant modernist, someone who politely doubts and disapproves of modernity's pursuit of disenchantment. It begins by examining Frost's poem “The Rose Family,” which is an example of apparent redundancy. Frost's initial word talks of the archetypal rose, only a single, individual member of a class. The trick is that there exists a large family of plants bearing the name rosaceae; apple, pear, and plum belong to such family and thus are called “rose” by metonymic transfer from family to species. Frost maintains that the difference in the character of the trope is an effect of the history of classification. He and modernism recognize how linguistics, figures of speech, and systems of signification and reference have always embodied the realities that affect man's behavior and preserve his ideals.

Keywords:   Robert Frost, The Rose Family, redundancy, disenchantment, metonymic transfer, linguistics, figure of speech, signification, reference

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