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'OUT, OUT--'What personification is in the poem? What word indicates onomatopoeia ?...

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jmac1992 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted March 9, 2010 at 9:24 PM via web

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'OUT, OUT--'

What personification is in the poem?

What word indicates onomatopoeia ?

What distracts the boy?

What happens to the boy?

What do the others do?

What is the theme?   fragility of life?


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englishteacher72 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted March 9, 2010 at 10:10 PM (Answer #1)

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First, the title is derived from a speech given by Macbeth after he learns of Lady Macbeth's death.  You may want to look that up for further information on Frost's poem.  In this poem, the saw is personified: lines 7 and 8 read,

"And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled, As it ran light, or had to bear a load."

Later, it is also described as "leaping out of the boy's hands".  Both of these are examples of personification, since a saw can't actually snarl, nor can it leap.

The words indicating onomatopoeia also deal with the saw when it is described as snarling and rattling.

When the boy's sister tells the men that supper is ready, the boy is distracted, which is when the saw "leaps" up and cuts him.  After the boy is cut, the doctor comes to completely remove his hand.  The boy ends up dying.  The others are said to have "turned to their affairs", which is a bit callous and harsh on their part.  There is no mention of grief or mourning at the loss of the young boy.  I think the theme could definitely be the fragility of life, but I think it could also be the harshness of it, as well. 

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