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Conflict in "out, Out"

Essay by   •  February 23, 2015  •  Essay  •  230 Words (1 Pages)  •  1,177 Views

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The main conflict in the poem "Out, Out" by Robert Frost revolves around the dangers of letting a little boy do a grown man's job.

The narrator sets the scene of a tragic accident in a Vermont farm by starting off with a vivid description of a "rattled" saw and the "sweet-scented" "stove-length" firewood sticks. This same saw, portrayed as a character of it's own, would end up taking a little boy's hand. A boy not allowed to act like one, as the narrator himself describes "please the boy by giving him the half hour that a boy counts so much when saved from work." Things turned bad once his sister called him in for supper, the narrator says, "As if to prove saws knew what supper meant. Leaped out at the boy's hand, or seemed to leap -- He must have given the hand. However it was, neither refused the meeting."

As help arrives, the boy pleads to his sister to not let the doctor cut his hand off when he comes. However, it was too late, the hand was long gone. The narrator mentions the doctor using a very strong anesthetic -- ether, which instead of helping him deal with the pain, ended his life. The narrator concludes the poem by describing a shocked, senseless family "And they, since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs."

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