Robert Frost's Home Burial

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In “Home Burial,” Robert Frost uses language and imagery to show how differently a man and a women deal with grief. The poem not only describes the grief the two feel for the loss of their child but also the impending death of a marriage. Frost shows this by using a dramatic style set in New England. In his narrative poem, Frost starts a tense conversation between the man and the wife whose first child had died recently. Not only is there dissonance between the couple,but also a major communication conflict between the husband and the wife. As the poem opens, the wife is standing at the top of a staircase looking at her child’s grave through the window. Her husband is at the bottom of the stairs (“He saw her from the bottom of the …show more content…
Looking at lines 3-9 you are able to see that the wife looks at her world through eyes of fear:
Looking back over her shoulder at some fear.
She took a doubtful step and then undid it
To raise herself and look again...
And her face changed from terrified to dull. (l. 3-9)

Even though the wife may feel that her husband does not understand her grief, he does try to reach out to her. He implores her, “Help me, then” (l.46). He knows that he has a difficult time communicating with her and observes:

My words are nearly always an offence. I don't know how to speak of anything. So as to please you. But I might be taught. I should suppose. I can't say I see how. A man must partly give up being a man. With women folk. (l.48-53) The husband acknowledges that she is grieving and asks her, “Let me into your grief” (l.62). He pleads with her, “Give me my chance” (l.64). He asks for help in such a way that his wife pushes him away again. She throws the accusation at him, “There you go sneering now!”” (l.70). This starts a second argument between the two. The argument now is whether the husband can grieve for the child, in the way that he is allowed without society looking down on him? The husband wants the world to know that he is hurting too, but how can he do this? The husband was never taught to grieve, so he is in the process of learning how to do this. The wife does not
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