Get help from the best in academic writing.

Free Essay on Frost’s Out, out and Mid Term Break

The Fragility of Life in Frost’s Out, out and Mid Term Break

The poem “Out, out” by Robert Frost is a poem about a young boy who uses a buzz saw. When fate decides the boy’s time is up, the saw cuts the boy’s hand, and the boy slowly dies. The theme of “Out, out”, as well as “Mid Term Break”, is the fragility of life.

“Out, out”, like “Mid-Term Break” focuses on the issue of God’s randomness in choosing who lives and who doesn’t. This fragility is emphasized, as the title of the poem is a line from the play Macbeth, “Out, out brief candle, life is but a walking shadow.” This way of portraying life as a candle, gives the impression that whoever guards this candle could just as easily blow it out, at any time, any place and just as sudden.

The pace of this poem varies from slow and steady at the beginning and then quick in the middle and then back to slow and steady again. At the beginning of the poem, the pace is very slow and gentle as the poet introduces us to the future incident. Once the incident occurs, the pace of the poem dramatically increases. This increase in pace relates to how quickly the incident happened to those people who were observing the accident.

The poem’s tone evolves around acceptance. Unlike in “Mid Term Break”, the poem has no true sadness or funerals, there seems not to be any real emotions shown by other family members. For example, there is no body grieving over the death of this boy. The people who witnessed the accident accepted this accident as they would an earthquake, a natural disaster that can’t be prevented.

In this poem, Robert Frost uses many techniques to describe to us his feelings and emotions on the issue of death; these emotions and techniques can be compared to those of Seamus Heaney in the poem, “Mid Term Break”.

In both “Out, out” and “Mid Term Break”, the poets use candles to symbolise life, although the poets use this symbolism differently. In “Mid Term Break”, Seamus Heaney uses candles to symbolise everlasting life, whereas Robert Frost uses candles to portray the vulnerability of our lives in the title of his poem, “Out, out”.

In the opening part of this poem, the poet uses the technique of onomatopoeia. This means that he uses words that sound like their meanings.

Waste Land Essay: Superficiality in The Waste Land

Superficiality in The Waste Land

The Waste Land is concerned with the ‘disillusionment of a generation’. The poem was written in the early 1920’s, a time of abject poverty, heightening unemployment and much devastation unresolved from the end of WW1 in 1918. Despite this, or because of it, people made a conscientious effort to enjoy themselves. In doing so they lost their direction, their beliefs and their individuality. They were victims of the class system which maintained a system of privilege, snobbery and distrust. Advances in machinery brought new products onto the market, like cars, but the people were so disillusioned with the social turmoil caused by four years of war, that even the glamour of new possessions could not fill the spiritual and emotional void left by the war. The consciousness of a nation had been battered into submission by the horrors of the first world war that people now were living a shell of what was once life. People went through the motions of life but there was no feeling just a mechanical existence. This kind of surface existence, the inability to see beyond the obvious, is portrayed throughout the Wasteland. The Wasteland is a soulless picture of a world deprived of fertility. Everything has become sterile in this barren landscape, people have nowhere left to look but to the outer shell because the inside is emotionally dead. As a result, the characters of The Wasteland are superficial in every sense of the word. Some are obsessed with appearance. Others are so far detached from the things that make life more than just breathing and looking good, that they perpetuate the destructive cycle that is slowly killing them and their world. They exist without hope, faith and spiritual enlightenme…

… middle of paper …

…t could bring life to the Wasteland, then there would be hope. Water of course becomes symbolic of faith. Eliot’s message is if we had faith, then the world would begin to take root again. Eliot suggests that our superficiality is replaced by ‘Datta… Dayadhvam..Dumyata’ ‘give, sympathise, control’. Our superficial nature has left us in an uncontrollable, unsympathetic, mean wasteland.

In short, superficiality is portrayed throughout The Wasteland. Those who inhabit the land exist without faith and reject enlightenment because they are too concerned with appearances, money and other such inconsequential matters that they have lost the ability to recognize what is needed to make life better. ‘Do You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember Nothing?

Works Cited:

Eliot, T. S. The Waste Land and Other Poems. Harcourt Brace

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.