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Although there is some figurative and very descriptive language in the poem, most of it is very simple. The simple language is appropriate for the simple farm setting, and also creates a contrast by describing horrifying images vividly and disturbingly matter of fact. Consider the last two lines.
And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.
After the boy dies, the people just go on their merry way. They watch him die, but since they are still alive, they seem ambivalent.
Other examples of simple language are the saw being described as having “made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood” (line 2), and the way the death is described.
The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath. (25-26)
The reader leaves the poem feeling informed, but with a shiver.
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