Blaming In Home Burial Essay

1130 words - 5 pages

5HollandDawn HollandJohn LoweryENG 42508 November 2014Whose Fault Is It AnywayRobert Frost (1874-1963) was a master storyteller who used words which allow the reader to fill in the details. Frost's "Home Burial" (1915) is just such a piece. This particular work is a brief dialogue between a husband and wife, following the recent death of their son. Rather than lay blame for their crumbling marriage on either party, Frost invites the reader to pass judgment. Looking at the situation from a woman's perspective, it is almost too easy to lay the bulk of the blame on the man.In the opening lines, the woman was standing at the top of the stairs "Looking back over her shoulder at some fear" (Frost, 1915). Whatever had caught her attention, now holds all of her concentration as "He saw her…Before she saw him" (Frost, 1915). Rather than quietly observe his wife, or just turn and leave her with her thoughts, the husband questions "What is it you see…I want to know" (Frost, 1915). So intensely caught up inside her own thoughts, she cannot speak "She turned and sank upon her skirts" (Frost, 1915). Again he questions her advancing up the stairs "until she cowered under him" (Frost, 1915). Believing him to possess the limited powers of perceptions of a man, she tells herself "…let him look…he wouldn't see" (Frost, 1915). However it does dawn upon him as to what she was always looking at "Oh…I see…the little graveyard…the child's mound" (Frost, 1915). Even though he is correct, she maintains he cannot possibly understand how she feels. Rather than hold her ground, she chooses to flee "I must get out of here. I must get air" (Frost, 1915). Her husband insists she stay "Don't go to someone else this time" (Frost, 1915), but "…sat and fixed his chin between his fists" (Frost, 1915). Although the next line is said in a gentler fashion "There's something I should like to ask you, dear" (Frost, 1915), his body language speaks differently. The husband then tries to turn the tables "I don't know how to speak of anything So as to please you" (Frost, 1915). He then continues to harangue her, to which she responds "There you go sneering now!" (Frost, 1915). All this does is add fuel to his fire "You make me angry…God, what a woman!" (Frost, 1915).She then confesses she had watched him as he "…dug…his little grave" (Frost, 1915) and cannot fathom how he could have "[sat] there and talk about your everyday concerns …with the stains…of… fresh earth from your own baby's grave" (Frost, 1915). She then repeats what the man had said on that fateful day, and chooses to leave anyway "I must go" (Frost, 1915). In the closing lines he still attempts to deter her "If-you-do...I'll follow and bring you back by force. I will!" (Frost, 1915). Comment by John Lowery: Good observation. From a woman's perspective the husband appears to be more at fault than the wife, for the disintegration of...

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