Essay on A Writer's Approach to Death

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A Writer's Approach to Death

Although death seems to be a theme for many literary poems, it also appears to be the most difficult to express clearly. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “death” as, “A permanent cessation of all vital function: end of life.” While this definition sounds simple enough, a writer’s definition goes way beyond the literal meaning. Edwin Arlington Robinson and Robert Frost are just two examples of poetic writers who have used death successfully as the main theme of their works. Robinson, in the poem “Richard Cory,” and Frost in his poem, “Home Burial,” present death in different ways in order to invoke different feelings and emotions from their readers. In his poem “Richard Cory,” Edwin Arlington
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This seems to make the reader accept the fact of death much easier than if they were to read what pain it might have caused others. Robert Frost however, approaches the theme of death in his poem “Home Burial,” in a totally different matter. Instead of leaving the death for the last line, he focuses on the aftermath left behind after death has occurred. In Frost’s poem, the reader actually gets to see the pain death can sometimes cause, instead of being left with questions as Robinson did in “Richard Cory.” In “Home Burial,” it is a new-born baby who has died rather than a grown man. This fact, in itself makes the death more important because children are “not suppose to die.” You always hear the same comments and questions following a child’s death: “Why?; They were so young!; etc.” Frost does an excellent job of using imagery to give his reader the feeling of losing a child. You can definitely see the parents of the dead child grieving their loss and cope with them. You feel as if you are suffering with them and this child was actually as close to you as it was to them. This allows the reader to take on a whole new meaning of death after reading “Richard Cory.” Frost also approaches death differently by choosing to make the child’s death an accident. The reader gets a different feeling from each poem because these situations, while both tragic, are totally different. One is
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