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Out, out - Robert Frost

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Out, Out’ is a poem written by Robert Frost, in which young boy, who lives on a farm in Vermont, New England, is cutting wood with a saw for a stove. When his sister comes to tell him supper is ready, the boy accidentally cuts off his hand and sadly dies.

At the time when ‘Out, Out’ was written, there was a lot of death in the world due to war and I feel that this is a reason behind Frost’s attitude to death in the poem, it almost seems as though the death of the young boy is insignificant compared to the deaths of the many soldiers fighting at war.

In the poem Frost makes readers sympathise with the boy by making him seem innocent and that he is just helping around the house by cutting wood for the stove. The line ‘As he swung toward them holding up the hand, half in appeal, but half to stop the life from spilling’ shows that the boy is completely helpless and I think the line’ Then the boy saw all- since he was old enough to know, big boy doing a man’s work, though a child at heart- He saw all spoiled’ reminds the reader that the boy is so young. The fact that the poem ends so abruptly shows that people will go on with their own lives after his death because what happened to him was just another farmyard accident.

‘Out, Out’ is a narrative poem. Narrative poetry is a form of poetry that tells a story,.

Frost uses onomatopoeia on the saw by saying ‘And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled.’ This is effective because it helps the reader to put themselves at the scene of the poem and hear the saw, this is known as aural imagery. Personification is also used to describe the saw, Frost says the saw ‘leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap’ this gives the saw human-like characteristics and makes it seem as though it has a mind of its own.

Enjambment is also used a lot throughout the poem as it helps the poem to flow better and helps give the poem a calm, peaceful and tranquil mood.

The line ‘the saw snarled and rattled’ is used 3 times within the poem, I think this use of repetition shows emphasis on the saw and the sound it was making. The repetition will remind the reader of the vicious nature of the saw throughout the poem.

Exclamation is used on several occasions in the poem, first in the boy’s outcry, ‘Don’t let

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