Out, Out by Robert Frost Essay Sample

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Subject/ Speaker-

The poem, Out, Out by Robert Frost, is based on a moral to teach people to cherish life in which a boy dies from an accident. The poem is presented in 3rd person and set in a Vermont afternoon. The obvious and less in depth meaning of this poem is about a boy who is cutting wood, and when his sister calls him in for supper, he accidentally cut his hand off from excitement. He desperately does not want to lose his hand, but does eventually. The boy goes to the doctor and is treats with ether but with no avail and dies in the end. The people then returns to their affairs. There was a contrast when the author describes the perfect day and moves on to the tragic death of the boy.


The purpose of this poem is to teach people to value life more because there is no telling to when death can approach. After the boy dies, the poem teaches us that people cannot dwell on something for long periods of time because they have to move on eventually. “And they, since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.”


Like the one of the purpose of the poem show, the poem consists of little emotion. As the last line of the poem show, the people paid little attention to the death of the boy, which shows apathy towards the death.



There is no particular structure to the poem itself. Some punctuation helped enhance the meaning of the poem. For example “little – less – nothing!” the exclamation mark helped emphasize the death of the boy.


The language of Out, Out cannot be considered formal; however, it certainly cannot be considered informal either as the diction included in the poem is not typical to everyday language.


There was some imagery in the poem, such as, “don’t let him cut my hand off.” This quotation evokes an image of the desperate child begging for mercy.


This is a unique poem in that it doesn’t have a rhyme scheme but still enables the poem to flow smoothly. It includes a number of long and short lines too.

Sensory Images-

Sensory images in this poem is pervasive, just to name one example, “and made dust and dropped stove- length sticks of wood” invokes not only an image of wood and nature but also a scent of wood dust.

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