Robert Frost, a prominent American poet, was born on March 26, 1874 in California. Robert remained unknown until he turned 40 years old. At that time, he came back from England at the beginning of WWI. After his return home, he became rather successful and was the first poet to be present at the inauguration of a President. He was awarded the Pulitzer Price four times, in 1924, 1931, 1937 and 1943.
His famous poem “Out, Out” (1916), tells a tragic story of a young man. The boy was cutting firewood with a buzz saw. After working the whole day, he was excited to finally hear his sister announce dinnertime. Accidentally, the boy loses his attention and cuts off his hand with a saw. His greatest fear is to lose his hand, so while still cautious, he begs the doctor not to cut it off. Unfortunately, poor fellow loses too much blood and dies under anesthesia. Although his death is tragic, everyone else go back to their routine work and the writer explains that they are not the ones dead, that is why.
Robert Frost uses Personification to a great extend in his poem. The main example is the buzzing saw, of course. It is described as a human being that snarls, rattles and leaps out for the boy’s hand in excitement.
Who is to blame for the accident and boy’s death? The author refuses to blame the boy for not being cautious as he is still a child at heart. Frost blames the adults for what has happened. Had they granted him an early excuse, the boy’s life could have been saved. Even a half-hour break would help him to relax and be more attentive and cautious.
Taking the time period during which this poem was written into consideration, it can be interpreted differently. Frost makes an emphasis on the boy’s passivity and innocence and draws a parallel to all the young men who had to leave their homes, grow up fast and go to War. It took a lot of innocent lives, lives of men who were still children and who did not have a chance to grow up and live a happy life.
The first part of the poem is full of elegant descriptions and metaphors, however, towards the end of the poem, Robert Frost gets detached and unemotional. The narrator is unable to find the explanation for why this happened and it seems that complete detachment is the only way to deal with the boy’s death and move on. Just as soldiers have to ignore the dead bodies of their friends on the battlefield, the people from the boy’s community have to resume what they were doing and go on with their lives accepting the tragedy and doing nothing about it.