Free Essay on Frost’s Out, out and Mid Term Break

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The Fragility of Life in Frost’s Out, out and Mid Term Break

The poem “Out, out” by Robert Frost is a poem about a young boy who uses a buzz saw. When fate decides the boy’s time is up, the saw cuts the boy’s hand, and the boy slowly dies. The theme of “Out, out”, as well as “Mid Term Break”, is the fragility of life.

“Out, out”, like “Mid-Term Break” focuses on the issue of God’s randomness in choosing who lives and who doesn’t. This fragility is emphasized, as the title of the poem is a line from the play Macbeth, “Out, out brief candle, life is but a walking shadow.” This way of portraying life as a candle, gives the impression that whoever guards this candle could just as easily blow it out, at any time, any place and just as sudden.

The pace of this poem varies from slow and steady at the beginning and then quick in the middle and then back to slow and steady again. At the beginning of the poem, the pace is very slow and gentle as the poet introduces us to the future incident. Once the incident occurs, the pace of the poem dramatically increases. This increase in pace relates to how quickly the incident happened to those people who were observing the accident.

The poem’s tone evolves around acceptance. Unlike in “Mid Term Break”, the poem has no true sadness or funerals, there seems not to be any real emotions shown by other family members. For example, there is no body grieving over the death of this boy. The people who witnessed the accident accepted this accident as they would an earthquake, a natural disaster that can’t be prevented.

In this poem, Robert Frost uses many techniques to describe to us his feelings and emotions on the issue of death; these emotions and techniques can be compared to those of Seamus Heaney in the poem, “Mid Term Break”.

In both “Out, out” and “Mid Term Break”, the poets use candles to symbolise life, although the poets use this symbolism differently. In “Mid Term Break”, Seamus Heaney uses candles to symbolise everlasting life, whereas Robert Frost uses candles to portray the vulnerability of our lives in the title of his poem, “Out, out”.

In the opening part of this poem, the poet uses the technique of onomatopoeia. This means that he uses words that sound like their meanings.
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