Homework Help

What are the rural pictures found in Robert Frost's poem "The Death of the Hired Man"?

user profile pic

khirulbasar | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 22, 2010 at 3:20 PM via web

dislike 1 like

What are the rural pictures found in Robert Frost's poem "The Death of the Hired Man"?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

mitchrich4199 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted February 26, 2011 at 10:52 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Like most of Robert Frost's poetry, "The Death of a Hired Man" takes place in a rural area. Silas, an old man, has come "home" to a former employer's farm where he hopes to find work, clearing fields and teaching a young man named Harold to properly do the same. As the man and woman of the house discuss his presence, Frost incorporates many "rural" images.

The two discuss Silas and his ability to "hay" the fields, coming to the conclusion that, for all his faults, he is pretty good at it.

I know that's Silas' one accomplishment.

He bundles every forkful in its place,

And tags and numbers it for future reference,

So he can find and easily dislodge it

In the unloading. Silas does that well. 

The image of Silas "haying" suggests that he has spent a lot of time doing it and perfecting his methods. He's come back to do the haying for the family, something that he has done for them many times in the past.

When the woman of the house came home earlier that day, she "found him here,/ Huddled against the barn-door fast asleep." This is something that would only happen in the rural area that Frost describes and illustrates with his masterful imagery.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes