Fire or ice?


Aim: Interpreting text (given: Fire and Ice by Robert Frost) into a series of pictures

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
–Robert Frost




My personal interpretation of the poem is that Robert Frost is not talking about how the world will end literally, but rather he is talking about relationships. This can be seen from how he associates fire with desire and ice with hate. Therefore from my point of view, what Frost is really trying to say in the poem is that there are two ways in which a relationship will perish – excessive desire and lust, or ignorance and indifference.

The first picture is to show the contrast that is introduced in the first two lines of the poem, the fire and ice. I have chosen to use human hands to interpret this contrast because hands plays an important role in a relationship. They hold deep symbolism even in everyday life. The open hands represent the fire, a sign of receiving, wanting more; thus desire. On the other hand, the closed hands represent the ice, as clenched fists show hate.

The second picture delves more on the perspective that the world will end in fire. I have chosen an apple as the fruit symbolises desire and lust. This ‘forbidden fruit’ is, according to the bible, what made Adam and Eve’s ‘world’ end, so I think this best describes how a relationship or a world would end in fire.

The third picture holds the perspective that the world will end in ice. From what I interpret from the poem, ice in this case means ignorance and indifference. That is why I have chosen a picture of a blindfolded man as it symbolises ignorance to the surrounding; the man chose to ignore everyone and everything around him by purposely wearing a blindfold. I also placed the crowd at the background as a sign of indifference; the crowd is facing away from the blindfolded man, not one of them paid any heed to him – thus it shows indifference.


Research links:
Poem analysis1
Poem analysis2
Poem analysis3
Fire in Photoshop tutorial

Stock images:
Open hands
Clenched fists
Blindfolded man
Featured image

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