Analysis of Edwin Arlington Robinson's "The Mill"

Topics: Poetry, Suicide, Death Pages: 1 (394 words) Published: March 26, 2006
"The Mill" is a poignant poem written by Edwin Arlington Robinson. The poem is a representation of hardship in family. The speaker of the poem is an omniscient narrator and the poem is set in a miller's house and mill. The poem has an (ababcdcd) rhyme scheme in three eight line stanzas. The poet uses many elements to display the adversity of a miller and his wife.

The poet uses a morbid tone and grim diction along with cold imagery to attest the austerity of a man losing his livelihood. He uses words such as black, cold, and dead to describe a dark time in a person's life. Throughout the poem the poet has a morbid tone as he shows the darkness associated with this person's troubles. Imagery is used in this poem to display a person's death and insignificance of his life to the world around him. Lines 21-24 are a perfect example of the poet's use, "Black water, smooth above the weir/ Like starry velvet in the night,/ Though ruffled once, would soon appear/ The same as ever to the sight," which means that when the lady jumped into the dark water, it would soon consume her and no one would know of her whereabouts, or even notice her dead.

Allusion, irony, and symbolism are also used throughout the poem to further explain the theme of death and destitution. Words such as "cold tea," dead fire," and "black water" symbolize death from the beginning of the poem to the end. The poem alludes to the Industrial Revolution, during the late 1800s and early 1900s, of America. The Industrial Revolution was a period in American history where many Americans lost their jobs to machinery. The deaths of the married couple in the poem was ironic. It was first unexpected of the miller to commit suicide and even more of his wife.

The poem's central purpose was to show the misery many people went through and still, even today, experience when they lose their livelihood. The purpose of the poem was successful in displaying this. The poem was pointed towards this...
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