Therefore, it utilizes the figure of speech called adianoeta, or double entendre.
One could also claim that the bereaved who never talks through his grief—who never speaks of it—is doing himself and others injury. Rather, it intends to portray a failure of empathy and communication. And each fails to alter even slightly his or her own form of grief in order to accommodate the other.
To her, the act of burying the child was one of supreme indifference, while to him it must have been one of supreme suffering—an attempt to convince himself, through physical labor, that this is the natural order of things; or an act of self-punishment, a penance befitting the horror of the loss; or simply a way of steeping himself in his grief, of forcing it into the muscles of his arms and back, of feeling it in the dirt on his clothes.
Yet they have everything to do with the little body in the darkened parlor. He is talking about death, about the futility of human effort, about fortune and misfortune, about the unfairness of fate and nature. And yet, the man is also partially to blame. If he had any understanding of how to communicate to her, he would not leave everything unspoken.
He would make some concession to her needs and articulate a brief defense. This displays a lack of empathy and a failure of communication as fatal as hers. He uses irony where she requires clarity.
She needs him to admit to agony, and he can grant her no more than veiled references to a substratum of unspoken grief. And in the face of her griefs obvious persistence, he makes a callous—or, at very least, extremely counterproductive—remark: Certainly it has some relevance.
And both husband and wife acknowledge that there are separate spheres of being and understanding. Yet she sees his quiet grave digging as nearly inhuman.
Additionally, it is fairly standard to assume that more outward emotion is permitted of women than of men—the tragedy of this poem might then be seen as an exacerbation of a pervasive inequality.
In this poem, husband and wife fail equally in this manner. A woman, perhaps, might be less likely to dig a grave to vent her grief, but she is just as likely to react to death by withdrawal or by immersion in quotidian tasks.
Partly, that breakdown is due to the inescapable limits of any communication.
Much of the literature of the twentieth century stems from an acknowledgement of these limits, from attempts to grapple with them and, paradoxically, express them. Is empathy—always a challenge—doomed to fail under such particular strain? We should note in passing—though it is not of merely passing importance—that Frost knew firsthand the experience of losing children.
His firstborn son, Elliott, died of cholera at the age of three. Later, his infant daughter died. Two more of his children died fairly young, one by suicide."Home Burial" is one of Robert Frost's longest poems, and it can also be considered one of his most emotionally disturbing ones.
"Home Burial," published in , tells the story of a married couple fighting after their baby has died. Before reading the poem the title, Home Burial, to me gave the impression of a rather ominous poem. I assumed that the poem would be about a murder in someone's family, or an accidental death that happened in the home.
T=Theme This poem seems to be addressing the theme of how humans respond to death and emotions. Take a tour of the home in "Home Burial". Fair warning: it's not for the faint of heart. “Home Burial“ by Robert Frost heralded a novel genre at the time of its publication namely the Dramatic Lyric.
The poem "Home Burial" presents not only the disparity in communication but also the lack of a constant and coherent association. A summary of Home Burial in Robert Frost's Frost’s Early Poems.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Frost’s Early Poems and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Analysis of Home Burial by Robert Frost. Robert Frost wrote the poem Home Burial after he and his wife suffered the tragic loss of their 4-year-old son. Home Burial shows the emotions people feel after such a loss, and how they face those emotions. Through Frost's experience he shows that men and women grieve in different ways.