What is the theme of  Robert Frost's "The Gift Outright"?

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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"The Gift Outright" by Robert Frost was recited by him from memory on January 20,1961 during the inaugration of John F. Kennedy.

In this poem Robert Frost traces the development of American culture from colonial times to the sixties. The poem in a nutshell, is his attempt to trace the American story of colonialism, freedom, westward expansion, and the quest to develop a specifically American culture. He reveals how Americans supported the growth and development of their country and culture. Frost remarks that Americans showed their love and loyalty to their bountiful country and culture in several ways: exploits on the battlefield, dedicated service to the country, and keeness in increasing the United States' land and power. His contemplation on the past is actually a call for action in the future. He acknowledges that American culture is only partially developed and the continued dedication of Americans, like in the past, is required for the United States to attain its full potential.

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