In "Out,Out-", does the boy get his hand completely cut off by the saw blade? Or does the boy's hand grab the saw blade causing the hand to become mangled and then his hand is amputated?...

2 Answers | Add Yours

lentzk's profile pic

Posted on

Robert Frost's grisly poem "Out, Out" tells the story of a young boy cutting fire wood who gets his hand caught in the saw, nearly severing it.  He startles when his sister calls out for supper time; Frost uses personification to describe how the saw "leaped out at the boy's hand." Frost provides clues in the context of the poem to describe the action:

"He saw all was spoiled. ‘Don’t let him cut my hand off—
The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!’
So. But the hand was gone already."
The fact that the boy protests not to let the doctor cut his hand suggests that the hand is still attached, but "spoiled" or mangled.  He holds up his hand to try and prevent more blood loss, but he was "old enough to know" or recognize that too much damage had been done.  When the doctor uses the ether to put him under, the boy already sense that he is dying.  His pulse weakens during the operation, and the doctor accepts the futility of trying to save him, because "there was no more to build on there."  The tragic accident costs the boy his life.

We’ve answered 323,806 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question