Essay on Edwin Arlington Robinsons the Mill

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Lucius Beebe critically analyzes Edwin Arlington Robinson's, The Mill best. Beebe's analysis is from an objective point of view. He points out to the reader that what seems so obvious may not be. She notes "The Mill is just a sad little tale of double suicide brought on by the encroachment of the modern world and by personal loss." Thus meaning The Mill carries a deeper underlying theme. Lucius Beebe expresses that a minor overflow of significant details has been exposed over Edwin Arlington Robinson's "The Mill," much of it concerned with whether the miller's wife did indeed drown herself after the miller had hanged himself. Another, even more provocative question has never been asked: did the Miller actually hang himself? Beebe…show more content…
Thus, Lucius Beebe points out that Robinson sets up the stanza as a sort of verbal chandelier, with one clause hanging upon the meaning and mode of that before, and with the framework of past perfect verbs giving definition and tone to the whole. Robinson achieves much the same effect in the second stanza, which opens with the miller's wife "sick with a fear that had no form," which implies that the fear has a continuation in the past. Beebe implies that "a certain poetic inertia militates against supposing change, and much more is needed to indicate or certify such change than exists." This hypothesis is reinforced by the rest of the stanza, a single sentence formed by a pair of past conditional clauses. "What he had meant," as direct object, parallels "What else there was," as subject, forming a nice balance of speculation within the triple-layered clause. This is continued within the second clause by "what was hanging from a beam," forming a seesaw of supposition that is given another push by the predicate "Would not have heeded," another past conditional verb.
Beebe suggests that this back and forth structure intensifies the pervasive aura of speculation that surrounds all we know of the miller's wife so far. This ongoing verbal balancing act also underscores the connotative probability of
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