The Marital Relationship in "Home Burial"
Critically discuss the relationship between the husband and the
wife in Frost's "Home Burial."
I am sure you could imagine the pain that both were going
through after the death of their child. Men and women grieve
differently, which is emphasized in the poem through the man's and
woman's actions and words. Women, stereotypically, are driven
by emotion and are more at ease showing emotions; whereas, men have
typically been portrayed as having to stay stoic and strong for
their wives. An already strained marriage for this couple is
now pushed to the breaking point because both cannot relate to each
other's ways of grieving. I do not agree with the assessment
of the man's character that is mentioned above. I merely saw
him as a man who is grieving in his own way, not as someone who is
callous and cold, necessarily. The wife, understandably, is
upset with the husband for digging the grave so quickly and with
such apparent ease.
I will provide a personal example of this very topic. When
my sister, who was 34 at the time, had a massive heart attack and
nearly died, my parents were devastated. They had a wonderful
marriage, but my sister's near-death experience put a huge strain
on them both. My dad did not deal with this experience in the
same way my mother did. My dad found that by working out in
the yard and keeping busy, he could cope with the sadness and pain
he felt. My mother did not understand this and felt he was
neglecting her and her way of coping. She wanted my father to
always talk about the situation, but that was not my dad's
personality or way. He was able to take out his anger and
frustration and the "Why us's?" in his yard by doing strenuous
stuff that kept him busy. Neither way of coping with
heartache is wrong...just different.