Out Out Essay

This is one of my favorite poems by Frost.  The poem's story, though graphic and tragic, makes use of so many types of figurative language that it serves as one of the great imagery poems. 

I believe what you are asking is what would be a good thesis statement for an essay about this poem. Before I suggest some ideas, I am going to give you a brief synopsis of the poem.

Using a saw that is too much for him, a young boy cuts wood.  The air is filled with the dust and sweet smell of the wood.  The setting is Vermont in an area surrounded by mountains.  It is growing late in the day.  The saw seems to have a life of its own as the boy uses it.  Seemingly, it is just an ordinary end of the day.

The second part of the poem begins with the line: "Call it a day." The poet wishes that the boy had taken thirty minutes just to rest or play.  Suddenly, his sister  rings the dinner bell startling the boy.  The saw jumps from the boys hand--it appears that the boy almost gave his hand to the saw--and cuts his hand badly.  The boy cries out but it sounds like a strange laugh when he sees what has happened to him. He realizes that he may lose his hand and begs his sister not to let the doctor cut it off. When the doctor sedates him, the boy loses the battle and dies.  No one believes that it has happened.  Yet, because death is  a part of life and life must go on, everyone turns to back to his life.

Frost uses several techniques in writing the poem:

personification--the saw snarling and rattling, having a life of its own; jumps up to cut the hand;

allusion in the title of the poem--a quotation from Shakespeare's play Macbeth, "Out, out brief candle.." Macbeth comments on his wife's death and the brevity of life

Word choice and phrasing...the boy's death portrayed by the words, "Little, less, nothing!...and that ended it." Frost does not need to say the boy died. 

Onomatopoeia, alliteration, extended metaphor...all these techniques can be found in this poem. 

Here are some suggestions for a thesis statement, remembering that in a short  essay,  the writer should only deal with one major idea:

  • Frost illustrates the brevity of life through the use of figurative language.
  • The third person omniscient narrator demonstrates a cyncial  and uninvolved voice.
  • Frost's poem makes a statement about the indifference of mankind toward the suffering of others.
  • The language of Frost make the poem's story come to life.

These are the kind of statements that you can use as your controlling idea in your essay.  After you choose your thesis, then you want to use the ideas and quotations from the work and secondary sources that you think best support it. 

Analysis of Out, Out by Robert Frost Essay

591 Words3 Pages

Analysis of Out, Out by Robert Frost

Robert Frost tells a disturbing story in 'Out, Out, --', in which a little boy loses his life. The title of the poem leaves the reader to substitute the last word of the title, which some would assume would be out because of the repetition. The title is referring to the boy exiting the living world. Frost drags the reader's mind into the poem with the imagistic description of the tools and atmosphere the little boy is surrounded by.

Frost describes the little boy's work in the first two lines by saying the 'stove-length sticks of wood,' inferring the practical nature of his work. The mountains described in the next lines further add to the captive nature of the poem. Vermont provides a…show more content…

The sister prepares the evening meal, making her contribution to the family; and calls on the boy to come and eat. The saw in the boy?s hands was still running and when he took his attention away from his work, and that split second of carelessness cost him an extremity. His instincts raised his arm upward to keep all the blood from spilling out immediately. When he realized what was happening, the boy finally realized he was to young to be doing a man?s work. The boy ?saw all spoiled,? and now knew his whole childhood had vanished and it was impossible to get it back. The boy frantically called out to his sister to make the doctor keep his hand on. The boy?s body must have instantly gone into shock and not felt the absence of the hand. When the doctor arrived he gave him some ether to make him go to sleep. The little boy began to lose his pulse and soon he was a stranger to the world. The people surrounding the boy never expected the loss of his hand to tragically end the little boy?s life. Frost?s almost appalling casual description of death shocks the reader enough to make them think. ?Since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs,? describes the environment of the survivors. They are forced to move on with their life and keep working because they cannot afford to stop and mourn.

The poem ?Out, Out, --? can only be described as an ironic misfortune that could be experienced by anyone. The realistic subject

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