“Out, Out”, is a poem written by Robert Frost that covers the tragic story of a death of a young boy as a result of bleeding from a heavy injury and the lack of treatment. The author, Robert Frost, manages to convey this sense of tragedy very successfully by utilizing a few literary techniques such as personification and direct speech. In the story, a young boy is introduced, working on a saw in a yard. He has no other choice, as he needs to earn money in order to support the family, even if he is only of young age.
He is described as a “boy”, telling the readers that he is in fact very young, and most probably not even in his teenage years yet. He is working and his very stereotypical sister comes along and announces that dinner is ready. At this point, his hand becomes “fed” into the saw as depicted and because of this; he suffers heavy injuries and eventually dies of what seems to be a lack of blood within the body. Although this event in itself is already very tragic, the author manages to augment this greatly by using a number of literary techniques.
The author uses personification in the story in order to emphasize the violence and danger of the machine. In the story the boy is seen working with a saw and it is depicted as very violent. “… And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled… ” The words “snarled” and “rattled” makes the machine seem as if it’s a savage beast that is alive and conscious. This plays along very well later on in the story as the machine is shown to be “eating” the boy’s hand, as seen, “… to tell them ‘Supper.
” At the word, the saw, as if to prove saws know what supper meant, leaped out at the boy’s hand… ” From this quote, we further get this sense that the machine is a savage beast as it is described to leap out at the boy’s hand, and is also shown to have a conscious as the machine understands the word “supper”. In conjunction with the usage of personification, the author also uses onomatopoeias to add to the effect. Words such as “snarl” and “rattle” communicate the sort of sounds that the machine making.
Both of these sounds are commonly related to the sounds animals make when they are angry or agitated, so therefore it further adds to the “characteristics” of the sawing machine, proving its violence. Furthermore, it also adds a sense of realism and authenticity to the description of the saw. By using personification and conjunction, Robert Frost manages to convey a sense of tragedy well because the culprit is supposedly this saw that is a savage beast and is directly linked to this idea of devastation and destruction.
Alliteration is used throughout the story in order to emphasize certain points, highlight certain points and to also add realism to the story. For example, the alliteration is used when the author describes the boy in the story is described as a “big boy”. This emphasizes the fact that the type of work he is doing at the yard is in fact meant to be for men that are older than himself and much too dangerous for small children like him.