What did Silas say was his reason for returning in The Death of the Hired Man?

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In Robert Frost's narrative poem "The Death of the Hired Man ," Mary tells someone—whom the reader presumes is her farmer husband, Warren—that Silas has returned to the farm hoping to work for them. The relationship between Silas, Warren, and Mary is not clear, and Silas does not actually...

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In Robert Frost's narrative poem "The Death of the Hired Man," Mary tells someone—whom the reader presumes is her farmer husband, Warren—that Silas has returned to the farm hoping to work for them. The relationship between Silas, Warren, and Mary is not clear, and Silas does not actually appear physically in the poem. It is Mary who states that Silas has come back to what she calls his home, "to die." Warren is unmoved. He doesn't like Silas and questions why he can't go to his rich brother's house. Mary, however, is very concerned about Silas, who, she states, is a "poor old man" looking for some "humble way to save his self respect."

In the end, Warren seems to relent and goes into where Silas is sleeping. The poem finishes with Mary questioning why Warren has come back so soon: "'Dead' was all he answered."

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Silas gave a number of reasons for wishing to return to Warren and Mary’s home. Mary asked Silas to go home with her, and after serving him tea, she tried to talk to him. Silas did not say much but asked for a chance to continue working for them. He informed Mary that he noticed the ditch was full of mud and that he is back to clear the meadow.

“Anything? Mary, confess. He said he’d come to ditch the meadow for me.”

He further stated that the upper pasture needed to be cleared, because if left unattended it would grow into a shrub.

“He meant to clear the upper pasture, too.”

He also promised that he had come back to stay. He made this promise because he abandoned his work at the Warren home whenever a different employer with better pay offered him a job. This was the same reason Warren did not want him back.

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