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Essay on Visual Imagery in Frost's Home Burial

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Visual Imagery in Frost's Home Burial


Frost, within his poems, seems primarily concerned with the reader’s ability to comprehend the psychological “landscape” of the person (or persons) that he is depicting. This aspect of his works, as well as his great love of nature and landscape depiction, both contribute to the environment that he has created within “Home Burial”. The reader of “Home Burial” does not achieve a comprehensive view of the psychological landscape of the two characters through first person accounts; however, throughout the dialogue and the interaction of the two characters, the reader may come to infer the major psychological attributes of each and to understand the dynamic within that relationship under the present circumstances. Frost enables the reader to comprehend these phenomena through the use of visual imagery and spatial relation between the two characters.
In the first scene, the initial dynamic between the two characters is established, “He saw her from the bottom of the stairs”(1). So, here, the reader is provided with a very specific spatial relation between the two characters, that of a woman, being viewed by a man from the bottom of a staircase, as the woman “ was starting down, Looking back over her shoulder at some fear”(2-3). There is a sudden change of spatial relation when the two meet on the stairs, the man “mounting until she cowered under him”(11). This abrupt change in the spatial relativity of the two characters mirrors their collective psychological topography. The woman, who is later introduced as “Amy” and presumably the wife of
this man, is superior to her husband in her acute emotional awareness and sensitivity, therefore the perspective achieved in her desc...


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...cs of the modern age. Here, Frost paints the reader a portrait of a female battling for emotional and physical control over her own life with her husband. His utilization of vivid visual and spatial imagery to create the effect of a battle for an intellectual and emotional place within their relationship gives the reader a chance to experience first hand the feelings of restriction and disregard that are put on a woman in Amy’s position. Amy, however, as the protagonist and heroine of this story must overcome these circumstances and break the boundaries her husband has set for her, emotionally and physically, and learn to create her own boundaries outside of his world.







Works Cited


Frost, Robert. “Home Burial.” 1914. Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed.
Nina Baym, et al. New York: Norton, 1994. 1093-1096.


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