Please help with me with an analyis of Robert Frost's Out-Out.“Out, Out” can be described as a narrative poem. Discuss the poem’s many narrative elements.Additonaly discuss its setting,...

Please help with me with an analyis of Robert Frost's Out-Out.

“Out, Out” can be described as a narrative poem. Discuss the poem’s many narrative elements.Additonaly discuss its setting, plot, characters, conflict, climax, and resolution. Analyze how these narrative elements work to convey  the poem’s main theme.

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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The poem is indeed a narrative poem.  It tells the story of a young man who has a fatal buzz-saw accident.  As he is cutting wood, his sister rings the bell for supper, and the saw slips slicing the boy's arm.  The arm is amputed, but the boy dies.  This sad poem is delivered in a conversational tone.  The narrator of the story speaks haltingly as if he is groping for words.  Like a story, the poem has a setting--an ironically beautiful setting in the mountains of Vermont--on a day that seems normal and peaceful.  The buzz-saw becomes the antagonist with its ominous sounds "buzz and rattle," and leaping up to meet the boy's hand, as if "it knew what supper meant."  We have minor characters as well:  the sister who calls for supper--also seemingly a child doing an adult's work, just as the boy.  We have the doctor, who takes fright as the boy's pulse diminishes.  And we have the rest of the family that turn to their affairs after the boy's death because life goes on.

The conflict perhaps is man versus machine.  But most likely it is more than that.  Frost shows us how quickly an ordinary day can turn to tragedy.  He creates pathos for this young boy who without his hand sees his life spoiled, and loses the will to live.  Life as described in this poem is hard.  Farm workers cannot take time to grieve a loss; they must continue on with their jobs.

 

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