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A Look At Grief In “Home Burial” Essay, Research Paper

The poem, ?Home Burial? by Robert Frost, tells of a child that was buried not long in the past and of the sorrow of the wife and husband. The husband?s grief is not as apparent as the wife?s heartache. The husband has become accustomed to his feeling, but the wife is reminded every time she passes the stairway window. In the Bedford Introduction to Literature, it asks the the questions, ?Is the husband insensitive and indifferent to his wife?s grief?…. Has Frost invited us to sympathize with one character more then the other??

To answer the first question I choose to use a section of the poem, that the husband see what is bothering the wife.

?The wonder is I didn’t see at once.

I never noticed it from here before.

I must be wonted to it–that’s the reason.

The little graveyard where my people are!

So small the window frames the whole of it.

Not so much larger than a bedroom, is it?

There are three stones of slate and one of marble,

Broad-shouldered little slabs there in the sunlight

On the sidehill. We haven’t to mind those.

But I understand: it is not the stones,

But the child’s mound–?

My point is not that the husband is not insensitive or indifferent, but he has accepted it. From the tone of the poem they do not talk about the child or the ever building strain of the window.

As for the second question, the sympathy shifts, or at least that is my view of it. At first, my compassion is for the wife. Frost?s way of describing the wife, just made my heart feel for her, but then the first shift in favoritism accrued.

When the wife was getting mad at the husband, yet the husband had not idea what the problem was. I guess the only reason I pitied him is because I can relate. After that, my sympathy stays with him. Every time he tries to keep the wife, comfort her, or discuss the problem she tries to leave. Also, I feel for him because the wife does not see that her pain is hurting him. So, I do sympathize with him a little more then her, but Frost?s way of writing this story leaves it open to lean either way.


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