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Mutability

Mutability

by William Wordsworth

Frost

Symbol Analysis

Frost provides an especially vivid image of mutability because it changes so fast. You can usually only see Frost for a short time in the early morning before the sun has warmed up enough to melt it all away. A thick frost will make an entire landscape seem white, and when this whiteness retreats a whole new world of colors is revealed. Wordsworth also subtly plays with the association in English literature of frost with old age.

  • Line 7: "Truth" is personified as a female, and "her outward forms" are compared to objects that have been stamped with their date of origin.
  • Line 8: Wordsworth uses simile ("like") to compare the outward appearance of things to a frost that melts away in the process of dissolution. "Frosty rime" is an example of tautology, or repetition of meaning. Frost and rime are essentially the same thing. It’s like saying, "sugary sweets."
  • Line 9: The imagery of a white countryside adds some color to an otherwise abstract poem.

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