Frost begins “The Gift Outright” by speaking of a land, to which he refers to as “she”. Robert Frost uses this personification throughout the rest of the poem in order to communicate the close relationship between a land and its people, and although this specific land is America, Frost knows that this closeness is in other lands as well. By describing America as a she, Frost conveys to his audience that it has human like characteristics, hence the term personification. America, the land in the poem, can be owned and own just as any human being can. America can have a relationship with people just as one person can have with another. Basically, by referring to America as a she, Frost can better justify the action of possessing, such as when the speaker states “Before we were her people” (Frost 3). If the poem instead read, “Before we were its people”, there would be a loss in depth because most humans will resent the fact of being owned by any entity. When the word she is used, they will identify with it instead of with the possessed word, we. All in all, the personification of America allows for easier identification with the audience and for justification of possession.
In addition to the pe...
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...act of sacrifice during that war; and through war, in relation to the theme, nationalism was created.
In the end, Robert Frost’s theme that the ability to possess the land, and therefore have nationalism, can only be achieved through the gift of sacrifice is developed through his stylistic choices. He employs personification in order to create a relationship between the audience and America, a relationship where America has the ability to possess in the same way a human has the ability to possess. Additionally, he uses an inclusive first person perspective to create a connection to his audience so he can obtain a position in which he can best inspire them. All of these considered, along with his lack of rhyme scheme and definition of the term “gift”, help to effectively communicate his theme and create a poem where the creation of nationalism is completely explored.
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