Uploaded by Lubna Saif

Out, Out

“Out, Out-”
How does the writer create a sense of horror in ‘Out, Out—’?
In your answer, you should write about:
◼ the way in which the chainsaw is presented
◼ the way in which the seriousness of the situation is gradually revealed
◼ the poet’s use of words, phrases and techniques.
You should support your answer with close reference to the passage, including brief quotations. (30
‘Out, out-‘by Robert frost revels how short and fragile is in comparison .in
the poem frost exposes the inhumanity among human beings towards child
labor. Frost utilizes imagery, personification, blank verse and variation in
sentence length to display the horror of child labor throughout the poem.
The poems title ‘Out, Out’ is an allusion of Shakespeare’s famous lines
from Macbeth; where Macbeth mourns over lady Macbeths death ,this
allusion foreshadow of a horrifying or disturbing happening to occur in the
poem , it may refer to the boy exiting the living world. The title itself creates
a sense of horror and makes the reader assume for something horrifying to
An ominous tone is created by the first line of the poem with the
onomatopoeia “snarled and rattled” connotes to the sound of a snake
giving warning that it is about to strike with its venomous fangs. This
personified onomatopoeia portrays the saw as a horrifying creature and
foreshadows something worse or horrifying to occurs in the near future
which creates a sense of horror in the poem.
The description of the setting “five mountain … Vermont” shows a clam and
serene environment which is juxtaposed to the wilderness of the saw
depicted through the repetition of the word “snarled” and “ratted”. In this
contrast the saw has become the dominant factor as it is the cognizant and
aggressive being while the nature is just clam. This dominancy of the cruel
saw over the huge nature creates a sense of horror and fear, and
foreshadow something disturbing to occur later in the poem.
The writer uses a compassionate tone “call it a day … from work” while
addressing the boy, in these few verses the writer hints of a tragic event,
and the personal pronoun “I” suggest his own desire, he had restrained
himself from adding his emotions, but the sudden use of “I” shows that the
upcoming event is going to be horrific and tragic that even though he
knows what to come he wishes it might not happen. The writer’s personal
opinion foreshadows a tragic and horrifying event to occur and creates a
sense of horror.
The writer introduces the audience to the sister who brings “supper” “to …
supper” this is when the accident takes place. The personal pronoun
“Them” shows he saw as character, this creates a sense of horror. Then
the use of personification “as if to prove saw knew what supper meant”
creates a sense of horror as the writer again shows the saw as a being with
a mind of its own further the verb “leaped” suggests of a wild dog on a
rampage, this animalistic picture of the saw creates a sense of horror, as
the saw believe the boys hand as supper and attacks as a wild dog. The
verse “Neither refused the meeting” creates a sense of horror as the
accident took place so quickly that the young boy had no idea and gave his
hand, this also evoke pity for the boy.
The boy’s reaction is presented through an oxymoron “rueful laugh” the boy
was so innocent and immature that he didn’t release the reality of the
situation and is still confused as to what happened to him. The accident
happening to the boy at such a young age creates a sense of horror.
The boy’s effort to save his hand “he swung towards the holding up the
hand” portrays his innocence that even though he has lost his hand he is
still can’t understand the retrieve it back, this reflects this that he is still a
very young boy and creates a sense of horror as he suffers such a pain at
young and tender age
The phrase “half as if to keep the life from spilling” Frost linked blood to life
here, the blood is spilling as a result of the action but with the blood the boy
is losing his life, this adds up to the created horror.
The short sentence “But the hand was already gone” shows that the boy
had now lost his hand and there was nothing that could be done , as he
loses his hand he may soon lose his life , this creates horror as something
more horrifying might occur. The triad of negative “little –less-nothing”
builds up tension and creates a sense of horror as the gradual deterioration
of the heartbreak takes place and the boy dies, the way he dies is really
horrific and tragic.
The most horrifying event takes place in the end “and they since they were
not the one dead, turned to their affairs” the detached manner in which the
others reaction the boy’s death from the tragic accident. The doctor and the
boy’s relatives continue with their lives without being affected but the death
as they were not the injured.
Lubna Saif 10 C