The poem of Out Out by Robert Frost has a fascinating theme of how short and fragile life is The story is a narrative poem and is set in one long stanza and there is no formal rhyme scheme some rhyme can be identified in the repetition of the words like saw hand and boy which are throughout the poem The tragedy in the poem reveals how life can change in an instant how fast it can change and even can end without warning The speaker has a serious and somewhat ironic tone to them it can be assumed that Frost is the speaker The poem tone shifts from sweet at first describing the countryside and a boy working but then it turns into a horrific as the boy cuts his hand off and dies later The poem can seem cold and cruel because everyone goes on with their lives as nothing happened after the boy s death Frost describes the saw with human characteristics right in the first line of the poem The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard Line 1 Frost let the reader know that probably the parents were too busy to raise their eyes to appreciate the beauties of the surrounding landscapes And from there those that lifted eyes could count Five mountain ranges one behind the other Under the sunset far into Vermont Line 4 6 Lines 7 18 are dense with content and show just how good and savvy Robert Frost was with crafting words These lines tell a small story within the poem about the interaction between the boy and the saw Personification is an important topic in the poem the saw is given human characteristics for the effect of the poem to be effective The line the saw snarled line 7 is an example
Another example is when the boy is called to dinner and the saw leaps out at the boy s hand line 16 Frost takes a few lines to confirm that the boy loses his hand maybe to describe how time moves in slow motion during an accident It appears that the boy must have made a careless mistake while using it The saw he was using was most likely stationary one and the boy may have accidentally put his hand on the saw without noticing In the line 18 neither refused the meeting states that it seems the only resulting emotion was the boy s agony and pain Again Frost s mastery of words is impressive In these six short lines there is much action and extreme emotion A grim picture is described between the lines 19 26 Vivid details of the tragedy make it possible for the readers to play the scene out in their mind Frost is using this poem to express how uncertain life is and that nobody knows what is going to happen next The feelings are dramatic comparing life to a hand but shows the importance of living The scene in lines 20 22 is full of details and quite frankly horrendous and tragic He was probably relatively calmed until line 23 and then experienced a breakdown after that Another theme although not an important one is about maturity
The boy who was Doing a man's work though a child at heart Line 24 may mean that the boy lost a significant time of development in his life by being pushed to adulthood prematurely This stanza also emphasizes maturity and assuming the responsibilities of adults When handling the buzz saw the boy needed to know how to be careful and mature and he had to deal with his mistakes He also seems to blame the parents for not allowing the boy to live his childhood and forcing him to grow up to fast In line 26 the boy must have looked at his sister with a terrible sense of desperation silently yelling help He had to know that nothing could be done how he must have been eager for the childhood he never had in that brief moment Later in the poem a doctor comes to treat the boy and ultimately decides to cut off his hand Frost uses the loss of the boy s hand to symbolize how disposable and brief life can be He further explains life s fragility by having the boy die When the boy s family and neighbors said were not the one dead turned to their affairs line 34 symbolizes that when people died most of the time they are forgotten in time The poem shows beauty sadness and hopelessness all in one little piece of writing The ending is a sad one and that those peasants had to keep it up just to struggle They couldn t stop to grieve the dead boy even if he was their son Life can be sad and horrifying but that s how is life Also it shows how humanity must deal with the dead it hurts the living but people must go on with their lives because life doesn't stop or wait for someone it just moves forward
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