"Out, Out" Robert Frost Commentary

Topics: Saw, Innocence, Hand Pages: 4 (1496 words) Published: May 16, 2013
"Out, Out" - commentary

"Out, Out" is a poem by Robert Frost about a tragic event. Frost conveys the theme of his poem in the form of a story: a boy is working with a buzz saw, when he cuts his hand off with it when his sister calls him for supper. The loss of blood results in his unexpected death, and his family returns to their daily lives. The tragic event shows the boy's sudden and premature loss of innocence, While narrating the story, the speaker implies that he sees the boy's work as inhumane, especially with the buzz saw. Robert Frost critiques society in its way of caring only for their work by objectifying the boy’s life. Frost uses symbolism and other poetic techniques, like the boy's hand representing his innocence to convey the theme of his poem, he also foreshadows the boy’s death, and makes the mood throughout the poem shift to a comfortable mood to show us his theme. Robert Frost shows the boy’s innocence through his poetic techniques. He first uses lyrical imagery: “Sweet scented . . . /breeze . . . /sunset” (3-6). These are all pleasant and tranquil images, which establish the boy’s innocence. The speaker says “and nothing happened” (9) which gives us the sense of a timeless, continuous state, which we can also relate to the boy’s innocence since when you are an innocent child, nothing ever really happens, or at least you don’t realize it. Frost also directly tells the readers he wants them to perceive the boy as innocent through the words: “though a child at heart” (24). Frost makes use of the boy’s hand to represent the boy's whole childhood and innocence. He uses foreshadowing to describe the setting of the poem: rural Vermont. "Five mountain ranges one behind the other" (5) might be perceived as the fingers on the boy's hands. We can make the assumption that something might happen to the boy's hand. The speaker foreshadows the accident also when he says: "Call it a day, I wish they...
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