An Annotation of The Gift Outright by Robert Frost Essay

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An Annotation of The Gift Outright by Robert Frost In "The Gift Outright," Robert Frost traces the development of American culture from colonial times to a more present perspective. He tells the American story of colonialism, freedom, westward expansion, and the quest to develop a specifically American culture. In doing this, he focuses on explaining ways in which Americans supported the growth and development of their country and culture. Frost suggests that Americans showed their allegiance to their developing country and culture in several ways: battlefield bravery, commitment of talents to the good of the country, and dedication to expanding the United States' land and power. His reflection on the past is also a call for action in…show more content…
Once Frost states, "we were England's, still colonials," the reader understands why "the land was ours before we were the lands." This is because the English colonists were not Americans when they first lived on the land. The colonists were still under English law, art, culture, tradition, and beliefs. The word "possess" has different meanings throughout this section. In the beginning of the line "Possessing what we still were unpossessed by," the word "possessed" refers to the way the colonists lived on, worked on, and owned the New World land. But in the second half of the line, one learns that the colonists were "unpossessed" by the land. In this context "unpossessed" means that the colonists were not consumed or overcome by a sense of responsibility to the land. In other words, it means that the colonists owned the land, but they did not have an overcoming feeling of responsibility towards it as an independent nation; they "were England's, still." In the line "Possessed by what we now no more possess," the first term possessed

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